Nigeria’s business space is very accommodating. Being a large nation with a GDP worth over $400 billion, it’s hard to get into a viable business opportunity in the country and not succeed.
Then again, business isn’t for everyone.
That’s simply because being in business demands tenacity and perseverance to push through the challenging phases before eventually emerging as a permanent success.
One of the bottlenecks that most people face when starting a business, is deciding what business idea is right for them to start.
If this is you right now, then this handy list of great business ideas you can start in Nigeria can help to inspire your entrepreneurial journey.
Table of Contents
Business Idea Validation: What makes a great business idea?
But just before we proceed to examine the list of businesses, here are some factors you need to mind when making a choice of business to start. There are certain questions you need to ask yourself as you seek to start a business of yours.
- Do you have knowledge of the business?
- Can your existing field of experience, expertise, and training be useful or do you need extra months or years of training which can further defer your launch time?
- Are you passionate about the business idea?
- Does the business have a low setup cost?
- Will your business be online based?
- Is the business flexible enough for your personal and work life?
- Is there a significant demand for the product or service?
- Can the business be run and managed by a few people at a start-up?
- Can the business provide you with supplemental income for you to transition to doing it full-time?
All these and more are some of the questions you need to ask yourself as you seek a business idea that works for you. But just before we move on to the next section of the post. A quote caught my eyes when doing research to put this piece together and here is it:
“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” — Josh James, CEO and co-founder of Omniture
In all, make sure your type of business is one that identifies an unmet need in the lives of the people and that you have a well-thought-through solution that can be packaged well into a profitable business.
We have written this clarity blog post to be succinctly expository for anyone who is looking for viable business ideas to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey.
Best Small Business Ideas in Nigeria
If you’re tired of being someone’s employee or you’re just looking to explore the business world, this article is for you. In this article, Here are some of the best business ideas to start in Nigeria, these business ideas cut across businesses that require some level of technical knowledge and expertise, to very simple small-scale businesses, and capital-intensive businesses which you should only get involved in if you’ve got the right financial buoyancy.
1. Fashion Designing
As far as Nigerians and Africans in general continue to embrace Ankara materials and other types of traditional wear, there’s always going to be a booming market for Nigerian fashion designers. Nigerians like to show up for informal occasions in their traditional regalia and you can tell the’s something serious going on in this multibillion-dollar fashion industry.
“Euromonitor suggests that the Sub-Saharan fashion market is worth $31 billion, with Nigeria accounting for 15 percent (about $4.7 billion) of that. ”
More so, your fashion designing skills don’t necessarily need to be restricted to just Ankara materials as you can also work on Western wear. To get into this business, you’ll need to enroll in a reputable fashion design home and learn the skill, and some customer relation techniques to survive long-term.
2. Digital Marketing
As a digital marketer, you may need to have certain skills like SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and even affiliate marketing. While it’s not an easy profession/business to get into, it’s one that can guarantee you a steady income while still enjoying the luxury of working remotely.
More so, you’re usually working on a contract basis, as such, it’s quite easy for you to scale up your earnings either by offering more tasks to an existing client, or working with other clients entirely as you’re not tied to a particular gig.
3. Livestock Farming
Back to manual jobs, there’s no better place to continue than the Agricultural sector. Nigeria has a population of over 200 million, and all these people need to eat regardless of their level of income.
Running a food-centered business somewhat ensures that most of your marketing is done by default, leaving most of your efforts to just creating a customer-friendly environment, and enough capital to run it as well.
Livestock farming is a very lucrative business venture in the agricultural sector in Nigeria. With very few regulations, you can begin a small livestock farm in your backyard, and grow till you’re able to afford a standard livestock farm.
The good thing about this business venture is that you don’t necessarily need to look for customers; as it’s food, the customers pretty much handle themselves, just be ready to deliver. More so, for livestock like goats, cows, and chickens, there can be multiple monetizable sub-sectors.
4. Furniture and Interior Decoration
If you’ve got an eye for art, designs, and decoration overall, this is one business venture that you’ll find fascinating. A lot of real estate investment firms are looking to collaborate with furniture and interior decoration brands to help them put life into their buildings – you can be one of their associates.
Aside from working with real estate companies, there are also a lot of opportunities for you to offer your services to new and existing homeowners looking to change the look of their house.
5. Bakery/Restaurant/Fast Food Business
Regardless of the option you decide to pick out of the three above, there’s always a place for you, and of course, a lot of profit to be made. After learning the skill, you may need to work under an experienced chef so you completely learn the ropes of the business before going fully independent.
Only the restaurant business will require you to have a standard outlet for customers to eat, for the other two, you can always start small from your home with home delivery and then expand as the profits start coming in.
6. Oil & Gas Business
In this context, we’re considering sales of PMS, diesel, and engine oil only. Without much introduction, it’s already evident that this is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and getting on it will definitely require a respectable capital size.
At the same time, it’s one of those businesses where you’re protected by steady demand by the public – your primary job is to be positioned in a strategic environment.
7. School Business
The low quality of public schools in the country gives rise to demand for private institutions. It doesn’t matter which grade you want to run; primary, secondary, or tertiary, there’s always an open market for you.
The good thing about this business model is that you also don’t need to be well-versed in the education sector as you can completely outsource everything to a third party while you just provide the funding.
8. Transport Business
There are several ways through which you can get into the business of transportation. You can decide to start from the top by investing in an airline company, or the bottom which involves owning cabs and buses which your drivers are expected to balance daily or weekly.
The transportation business model requires very little managerial involvement especially if you’re working with experienced drivers that don’t crash your vehicle every now and then. It’s one of the businesses that you can do as a secondary income stream.
9. Farming Business
If you’ve got the right capital to run it, you can set up a robust plantation to grow cash crops like yam, cocoa, plantain, oil palm, etc. In this scope, you’ll be running a large mechanized farm which essentially means that you can outsource more than 90% of the operations in the business, and still make respectable gains.
Nigeria boasts to be home to the largest economy in Africa, and with a population of over 210 million, it’s no surprise that the country is being referred to as the “Giant of Africa.” With all these positive sides to being a citizen/resident in the country comes a plethora of unexplored business opportunities.
If you’re planning to launch into the online business world, with a keen interest in working remotely, then becoming a blogger is one of the most practical ways to get things started. You can work certain hours daily from the comfort of your room, or have your blog as a side hustle while you still have your main job.
Starting a blog can give you a voice and make you outstanding in your field of career while also earning in foreign currencies.
I personally feel that blogging in Nigeria is yet to be properly explored and anyone who can write a ton of great content can park as much money through selling a service, selling a product, or selling other people’s product (affiliate marketing)/
Also, blogging is one business you can start on a shoestring budget, at first you need only a PC, a stable internet connection, quick blogging videos to put you on track, a domain name, and web hosting to power up your blog.
If you want to navigate this path quickly for success, you need to dwell in less-congested blogging niches, blogging today is way beyond trying to make a few bucks by ranking some less valuable pages to the first page of Google and other search engines.
It’s more about making true impacts in the lives of your readers, when you first offer them valuable information about their interests and intent, they know you’re in for serious business and willing to follow your lead.
If you found yourself on the business side already, by that I mean you already have a business and looking for practical ways to expand your business for more reach and real results, then blogging for business is one of the key dependable ways you can attract massive prospective customers to your business.
If you’re interested in launching a blog that matters in Nigeria, I want to recommend to you some of our detailed guides, in most of them, we have extensively addressed different aspects of blogging as a business and for your business, such as the best blogging niches to start a blog including some yet untapped niches, best blogging platforms to build a blog today, free keyword research tools, blogging mistakes you need to avoid, how to create blog posts that ranks and some niche-specific guides for Christian, Food, News and tech bloggers.
Freelancing is one notable propeller of the gig economy, there are well over 1.57 billion people around the world who are freelancers. Many Nigerians offer their skills and professional services on freelancing platforms, working and serving clients remotely for pay in dollars.
Freelancers have very flexible work schedules and don’t have to be present every day at work, as the case is with 9 to 5 jobs. Freelancing is known to have also created a pathway for several others to become gainfully self-employed and eventually have their own startup in the near future.
Freelancers with lots of experience up their sleeves soon outgrow mainly relying on the sharing gig economy immensely controlled by the top freelancing platforms to establishing their own networks and eventually starting their own agency.
You can also enact this by leveraging some proven digital marketing strategies such as social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and more. You can sell anything online with a professional website and the art of contentfulness.
12. Agriculture Storage Business
If you have sufficient capital to invest, then you’re in for a lucrative business opportunity. In every growing population like Nigeria’s, there’s a need for food. Farmpreneurs are tapping into this to invest in food storage.
The interesting thing about this business is the fact that you are not required to have a farm. You can also have deals with farmers, giving them a place to warehouse their farm produce while they pay for storage or, you can jointly invest by buying and storing some products and then marking them up for a profit before they get to the market.
13. Social Media Influencing
Social media influencing is fast becoming a good employment opportunity for youth especially as almost any brand will collaborate with someone that has above 1000 followers. All you need do is create social media pages on platforms that work best for your content idea and start posting specific kinds of content that allow you to gather followers that are monetizable on the platform.
Whatever the platforms you picked; be it Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or TikTok, With time, as the algorithm favors you and you continue to gather more followers, you’re likely to attract brands in your niche or industry by default.
14. Real Estate Investment
The real estate industry in Nigeria is arguably one of the most untapped sectors in the country. Aside from the country having large portions of land that’s developable, there’s also very little regulation making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to make a lot of money with very little risk of getting in trouble with law enforcement.
More so, the real estate standard in Nigeria is tied to the dollar, making it an inflation-proof venture.
Nigeria’s diverse business landscape offers opportunities for entrepreneurs with varying levels of expertise and financial capacity. Whether you opt for fashion designing, digital marketing, agriculture, real estate, interior decoration, food services, oil & gas, education, transportation, or farming, success is attainable with dedication and the right strategy.
The key lies in identifying your passion, leveraging your strengths, and tapping into the immense potential of the Nigerian market. The journey to entrepreneurial success begins with taking that first step toward your chosen business idea.