The manufacturing industry in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world is currently underexplored. With a GDP contribution of below 10% in Nigeria, there is much to hope for in the Nigerian manufacturing industry. At the moment, the three main areas where Nigeria experiences manufacturing progress are food & beverages, textiles and cement. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement in other parts of the industry.
While a major hindrance to the rise of manufacturing has always been accessing capital, there are a lot of cost-effective manufacturing business opportunities that anyone can start. If you’re looking for low-cost manufacturing businesses to start, here are 35+ lucrative small-scale manufacturing business ideas you can start in Nigeria, Africa or in many places around the world.
1). Garri Processing Business:
Garri is one of the most available staple foods in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Made from cassava, garri is a good business commodity, thanks to the high patronage it enjoys all over the country.
If you have a cassava farm, you can consider processing the harvested cassava into garri. Similarly, those who do not have a cassava farm can network with cassava farmers for regular supply. The best part about garri business is that you don’t need an extensive marketing strategy as it sells itself.
2). Bead Making Business:
Beads are great fashion and decorative items increasingly gaining attention across Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world. They are used for traditional events and festivals.
With the growing attention towards beads as fashion statements, a smart entrepreneur can build a large business out of making and selling beads. All you need to do is, brand your business and create a digital presence to expand your reach.
3). Liquid Soap Production Business:
Liquid soap is often preferred to other soap types because they are relatively cheaper and easier on the skin. Most users also choose liquid soap for basic cleaning such as dishwashing and mopping, amongst others.
Manufacturing liquid soap requires little capital. You can produce it right from your home and distribute to vendors, supermarkets and local shops around.
4). Basket Weaving Business:
This craft is one of the most inexpensive small-scale business ideas anyone can start in Nigeria or Africa. Basket weaving has been around for a while and is one of the most underrated businesses in the region.
The market for weaved baskets includes supermarkets, market traders and foodstuff distributors. Baskets are also used for decorative purposes, especially at traditional festivals in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world.
5). Tie And Dye Business:
Tie and dye are fast gaining resurgent acceptance in the fashion industry. Locally known as adire in most parts of Nigeria, tie and dye are not just used for wrapper production. It is also used to make beautiful designs on shirts, trousers and cardigans.
You can employ the services of trained tie and dye makers or learn the craft and produce the designs yourself.
6). Shoe Making Business:
Shoemakers are making a lot of money in the fashion sector of the manufacturing industry. Granted that this is one of the small-scale business ideas that require training, you’ll have to learn the craft.
Once you’ve sorted that, you can start your shoemaking business with very little capital.
7). Hibiscus Drink Production Business:
Hibiscus drink is commonly known as zobo in Nigeria. Producing hibiscus drink requires very little capital. As a matter of fact, this is a manufacturing business idea open to virtually everyone irrespective of available funds. Your capital requirement depends on your intended scope of production.
You can start small and see your business grow quickly within a short period.
8). Tiger Nuts Drink Production Business:
Like zobo, tiger nuts drink is a traditional drink common in Nigeria and some other parts of Africa. It is made from the seeds of the tiger nuts plant and is preferred chilled. With the right production factors in place, you can generate as much income as possible from the tiger nuts drink business.
You can also distribute to restaurants, small shops, schools and so on.
9). Pure Water Production Business:
Pure water has been classified as one of the most lucrative small-scale business ideas in Nigeria. Sales of sachet and bottled water are a signature business in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Thousands of people are in a job, thanks to this business.
Although it requires manufacturing equipment and proper licensing, drinkable water production enjoys massive patronage in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world.
10). Palm Oil Production Business:
As of 2021, Nigeria is the 5th largest producer of palm oil with over one million metric tonnes per annum. The best part is there is still enough room for improvement in Nigeria’s oil palm sector.
Private investors and entrepreneurs can also contribute more to Nigeria’s production and export of palm oil. Starting palm oil production requires a lot of trained manpower. Once this is sorted, there is a ready market for your product.
11). Furniture Production Business:
Furniture is another craft-related small-scale business available to every interested individual. Furniture production enjoys patronage from virtually every sector of society, so there’s little fear of running out of demand.
However, to get started, you need to put some time into learning the craft and embark on trial projects to boost your experience and confidence.
12). Bread Bakery Business:
The hot daily demand for bread makes bread production one of the most lucrative small-scale manufacturing business ideas in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world. Already, the bread production business is saturated. However, your ability to channel creative tastes to the right market will earn you a steady clientele.
13). Orange Juice Production Business:
In the food and confectionary manufacturing industry, orange juice remains in high demand in hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, local stores, and much more in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world.
With such teeming market demand, you can never be wrong about the orange juice production business. However, for branding purposes, you need to get the proper licenses and approval for your products.
14). Yam Flour Production Business:
Yam flour is a local food product made from dried yam tubers. It is used to make African dishes such as amala and can be added to other recipes. Although amala is a southwestern Nigerian meal, yam flour production is a business you can start anywhere in the country.
For longer shelf life and to aid nationwide distribution, you can brand and package your yam flour products and sell them in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world.
15). Wig Making Business:
Wigs are now common fashion items and they are useful in different industries. For most women, wigs are the solution to spending a lot of time making their hair. The wig production company has evolved so much that there are now wigs that look almost 100% like natural hair.
The options are endless. As a wig maker, it helps to be creative with ideas and strategic with your marketing efforts.
16). Fertilizer Production Business:
Fertilizers are made from a series of combinations of several chemicals in the right proportions. The agricultural sector depends heavily on fertilizer production for massive farm yields. Hence, there is bound to be a continuous demand.
For starters, you could focus on producing a particular type of fertilizer to maximize your resources. Over time, you could expand your scope to cater to more demands.
17). Sweets And Candy Production Business:
Sweets and candies are some of the best confectioneries in terms of market demand. In Nigeria where they are handed to people as change, especially in supermarkets and small stores, the demand has soared.
Besides supermarkets, schools, malls and local shops are also hot spots for sale of sweets and candies in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world.
18). Cake Production Business:
Cake bakers smile to the bank, thanks to the continuous growth of consumer taste and demand for the product. Cakes are important edible items in wedding events, birthdays and other celebrations. But now, the business incorporates more creativity and innovative ideas.
Once you’ve learned basic cake-making skills, you can make and distribute creative cakes and also bake them on a contract basis.
19). Snacks Production Business:
Common snacks such as chin-chin, puff puff, egg buns, meat pies and others are in high demand across Nigeria. They are consumed by both adults and kids on a daily basis. To start a snacks production business, it is important to be properly trained. The best part is that it doesn’t take much learning effort to make snacks.
20). Chalk Production Business:
Chalk production is one of the simplest small-scale manufacturing business ideas anyone can engage in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world. The materials for chalk production are easy to source and it doesn’t require much startup capital.
What’s more, the market for chalk is still high, with schools, academies and tailoring institutions, topping the list.
21). Ice Block Production Business:
Local beer pubs, small stores and restaurants augment the erratic supply of ice blocks rather than using generators. This is understandable because ice blocks are cheaper. By extension, the regular use of ice blocks in the food and drinks industry creates a market for ice block producers.
Although ice block production requires some capital, it is still affordable to most entreprneurs and investors.
22). Milk Processing Business:
The milk processing business is open to all entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world. However, it is relatively easier for those in the northern region of Nigeria because of the high concentration of cattle rearers.
Milk processing involves extracting milk from cattle and further processing it into edible dairy products that are sold to consumers.
23). Building Block Production Business:
The growing industrialization of Nigeria and other parts of Africa has made block production one of the most lucrative small-scale manufacturing business ideas at the moment. Starting a building block production business puts you in a good position to benefit from industrial growth.
One of the best strategies in this business is to site your business in a busy part of town and invest in creating awareness.
24). Match Sticks Production Business:
Match stick production is perhaps one of the most underrated small-scale manufacturing business ideas in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world. Made from wood or paper, matches are relatively easy to produce and require fewer production efforts.
With so much global population still using stoves, firewood and basic cylinders, the match sticks business continues to enjoy constant patronage all year round.
25). Smoothie Production Business:
Smoothie production is a lucrative snack business to start in a students community or city. As more people continue to realize the health benefits of fruits, the market for this business is bound to rise steadily.
With proper branding and effective distribution strategies, you can make a lot of money from this manufacturing business.
26). Honey Processing Business:
The multiple uses of honey in various industries ranging from food production to skincare have significantly increased the market demand for this product in recent times. To start this business, you need to learn how to keep and handle bees.
You also need to invest in labour, especially if you intend to go large-scale, as well as beekeeping kits to protect the staff from bee attacks.
27). Ice Cream Production Business:
Ice cream production has been around for decades, but the continuous evolution of the sector has created room for new producers and investors. Producing new and tasty flavours puts you at an advantage in the ice cream production business.
More so, you can distribute to prime targets like eateries, supermarkets, schools, malls, and much more.
28). Salt Production Business:
Iodized salt remains one of the most consumed food flavours. The market is tremendously large in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world. To get maximum yield, it is important to invest in equipment. The salt production industry in Nigeria is dominated by a few companies at the moment.
With an effective strategy in place, you can make your mark on the market in no time.
29). Handbag Production Business:
Although most of the fashion items used in Nigeria and other African countries are imported, there is a growing market for locally-made bags. To start this small-scale manufacturing business, you need to acquire the right skills and produce world-class standard bags.
You can also employ the services of other experienced handbag makers to boost your production.
30). Face Mask Production Business:
The outbreak of COVID-19 shifted the attention of the world towards the health risks involved in having dirty hands and going about with an unprotected face. Despite the discovery of vaccines, there is still a strong need for people to wear face masks and this has continually kept face mask producers in the market.
Irrespective of the type of face mask you choose to produce, there is a large waiting market.
31). Potato Chips Production Business:
Potato chips are one of the most commonly consumed snacks in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Thanks to its health benefits and crunchy taste, most vacationers, students as well as adults prefer potato chips to other snacks.
For massive production yield, brand your business and distribute to supermarkets, marts, restaurants and other high-demand areas.
32). Food Processing Business:
The food processing industry is related to manufacturing. There are a lot of manufacturing business ideas that involve food processing to production, ranging from snacks to drinks production. The list is endless.
Depending on available capital and other production factors, select and focus on one food processing idea and distribute it to the right targets.
33). Popcorn Production Business:
Like other snacks, popcorn enjoys massive patronage among kids, students and adults on special occasions. Popcorn is easy to make and requires very little production effort. You can produce and distribute daily to supermarkets and malls.
On the other hand, you can get contracts to produce popcorn for birthday occasions, get-togethers, and much more.
34). Coconut Oil Production Business:
Coconut oil production is equally one of the most underrated small-scale manufacturing ideas in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the worlds. Coconut oil serves multiple uses, including hair and skincare.
Among other uses, it avoids skin cracks and hair breakages. You can start a coconut oil production business right from your home. The success of this business relies heavily on your ability to distribute to the right market.
35). Notebook Production Business:
Notebooks are essential materials for students and non-students. If you can produce and distribute to bookstores, student communities, campuses and schools, you stand a good chance of building a successful business in the sector.
36). Insecticides Production Business:
Insecticides can be locally produced and they are as effective as imported products. More so, locally-made insecticides are pretty affordable and available in all local markets and supermarkets.
Insecticide production enjoys continuous demand all year round because there is always a need to combat pets and insect attacks both in residential apartments and on farmlands.
To Sum It Up
While the rate of manufacturing in Nigeria and other African countries fails to meet the local annual demand, there has been significant progress over the years. Starting a manufacturing business does not always require heavy capital. If you want to start your own low-cost manufacturing business in Nigeria, Africa and many other places around the world, you can start with any of the 35+ lucrative small-scale manufacturing business ideas mentioned in this article and grow from there.
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