There are a lot of unemployed people in Nigeria. And when I think about this, it really saddens my heart because I strongly feel that there are lots of business opportunities and untapped ideas that the average Nigerian can tap into and start making some money from, however small.
I know some people would say “What about capital?”, but the fact is that not every business requires huge capital to set up. There are even some businesses that could be started for less than N10,000 or N15,000, so capital really shouldn’t be so much of a stumbling block that would stop any serious entrepreneur from starting small and building a profitable business in Nigeria.
Here are ten lucrative business opportunities that you should consider venturing into if you’re looking to start your own business.
1. Poultry Farming
Poultry farming is one of the best and most lucrative business ideas in Nigeria right now. This has a lot to do with the fact that Nigerians love meat a lot especially Poultry. Just go to a party on any Saturday and you’ll see just how much poultry meat is consumed in these parties every week. Let’s not even talk about the ones we consume in our homes, in restaurants and eateries.
The demand for poultry meat is so high that a lot of dealers of poultry products resort to smuggling these items in from neighboring Republic of Benin just to meet up with demand. This ought not to be so considering that poultry farms are fairly easy to set up and could even be set up in your backyard. There are lots of products you can sell as a poultry farmer; you can package and sell frozen poultry meat, you could distribute and sell eggs or you could eve sell day-old chicks to other interested poultry farmers.
2. Snacks making
Snacks making is another hot business opportunity in Nigeria. If you’ve ever been on Lagos-Ibadan express road or on Benin-Ore express road, you would see how lots of Nigerians make their living from selling pre-packaged snacks like plantain chips, Coconut Chips, Potato chips, Chin-Chin and Popcorns to mention few.
You can set up a similar business as well and supply your products to supermarkets, schools and grocery stores or get salesmen to help you sell them at roadsides and in strategic selling places for a commission.
3. Metal scrap trading
This is a business that a lot of people would ignore due to its ‘messy’ nature but this messy business has turned a lot of Nigerians to millionaires.
It’s really simple, what needs to be done is to look for people who can go around to pick or buy metal scraps if you cannot do so yourself. Or you could set up a metal scrap depot where people can come and sell their metal scraps to you for a token. These scraps are usually bought by importers in China and other countries for production.
4. Livestock feed production
If you noticed, Nigerians have embraced agriculture these days like never before and livestock farming is becoming increasingly popular.
But like I always tell people, don’t do what everyone is doing.Instead you should look for how to provide what everyone is lacking. So instead of going into livestock farming, consider production of livestock feed that livestock farmers would use to feed their animals.
5. Mobile fruit juice bar
Nigerians have learnt to pay more attention to their health and eat right and at this time, nothing would sell better than natural fresh, fruit juice in a mobile cart which people can use to quench their thirst on a hot afternoon in place of soda.
6. Furniture making
You could also consider making furniture for home and office use. You don’t have to be a furniture maker yourself to start this business; you could employ good furniture makers who you would employ to make solid furniture for you and simply handle the marketing and promotion aspect of the business.
7. Mobile food vendor
You would agree with me that Nigerians don’t joke with the “stomach infrastructure”.This is why a mobile restaurant would be a great idea especially for the working class ones who barely have enough time to grab a bite before leaving their homes every morning.
8. Online tutoring
This is another business that is fast gaining a strong reputation in Nigeria. It involves training people on short courses, helping students with assignments and projects and basically imparting knowledge over the internet.
9. Fitness and beauty consultant
Call us vain but we are Nigerians and we love looking good. Ten years ago, this kind of business may not have made sense, as fitness was kind of an alien concept to Nigerians. But these days, just claim you have any product that would make people slimmer, lighter, have flat abs, pink lips, long hair, full lashes or enhance the body in anyway; you would have dozens of Nigerians swooning to you like bees do to honey.
10. Mini importation
Lastly, you can start a mini-importation business and start making money from importing items like laptops, phones, computer and electronic gadgets and accessories, clothes, shoes, jewelries and any other hot selling product in Nigeria.
With car apps like Uber and Taxify, it’s quite easy to start a taxi business even if it’s your personal car. You just need to get registered on any of these platforms and you’re good to go.
Busy professionals are often in a dilemma of where to put their kids when they are working. This is where a creche comes in. You can offer to provide this service for working class or busy mum. But you should make sure your creche is neat and well-furnished.
If you have a good grasp of some secondary school subjects, you can start a home tutoring service. There are many students that need assistance for their school work and this is where you can make some cool cash.
Phone sales and repair
Everybody uses a phone these days and at some point in their phone’s life cycle, they might need to get it repaired. You can start a mobile phone retail outlet along with a repair service
People are busy but they need to get their homes cleaned. And a lot of folks have become wary of getting a maid. Hence a home cleaning service seems like a viable alternative.
You can either offer this service by employing cleaners and overseeing them.
You can meet the hair dressing needs of women by starting a hair styling business. You don’t need to be a hair stylist to get started. All you need do is to rent a shop and get it equipped. Then you can employ a stylist to provide the necessary service while you run the business.
Cat fish farming
Cat fish farming is quite lucrative with farmers recording profit in millions during harvest. Unlike crop farming, you don’t need a large space to get started. Interestingly, it takes just a few days to learn the basics of this business.
Poultry business is another lucrative business opportunity particularly for the eggs whixh is a staple in the average Nigerian diet. Also you can sell your birds during festive period.
However, your poultry business requires proper supervision and care if you want to reap an abundant harvest.
With owambe parties happening almost every Saturday in various parts of the country, there’s a need to plan these events properly.
You can pitch your service to your friends and acquaintance. And if you’re able to do a great job, your business will grow organically by word of mouth referrals.
Real Estate Agency
If you can network effectively with the right people you can build a profitable real estate agency. For every rent or sale, you will get a commission and sometimes this fee can run into millions of naira.
People love good pictures and any photographer that can capture beautiful moments is certainly going to be much sort after.
If you don’t have the skills, you can learn the business provided you’re passionate about it. The business is quite profitable and you can earn in millions if you’re really good.
A compelling reason to start an e-commerce business is the low barrier of entry. Unlike a physical store, you can open an online store with less than N500 000. As a matter of fact, you may not need to hold the physical inventory that you sell. You just need to know the suppliers and know how to get the product once a customer makes an order.
Gym or Fitness Instructor
If you’re a stickler for being fit and you have an amazing body to validate your passion for body building, you can offer your service to people. As a matter of fact, you can use your earnings from this service to equip and open your gym. This can further increase your revenue and as your vision expands, you can choose to open several fitness centres in different parts of the state.
Beauty & Makeup
The beauty industry has grown exponentially in recent times and almost every young lady these days seems to be interested in beauty and makeup.
Interestingly, you can learn the art of makeup in a few weeks. Additionally, you can include other services in your venture such as the sales of cosmetics and other beauty products.
A large proportion of the Nigerian populace is either jobless or underemployed. If you have the skills, you can start a recruitment or employment agency to bridge this gap.
You can start by pitching your service to small and medium scale business then progress to the working with larger organizations.
Travellers are always looking for the best prices and travel agents that can proffer solutions travel issues.
Starting a travel consultancy can be quite lucrative especially in Lagos. However, you’ll need to take some IATA training courses that will ensure you become a certified travel agent.
With the rapid rise in e-commerce business and with the need for people to move things from one place to the other, the logistics business has grown rapidly in recent years.
You can serve as third party logistics (3PL) for businesses or any of the thriving e-commerce platforms. However, you should do some research properly before you start this business.
Everybody loves bread. You can start a bakery business in your neighbourhood. Also, you can include different delicious varieties of bread in order to give your customers many options and keep them coming back for more.
Bakery business is certainly lucrative if you do your planning and research. Also, you should have enough capital to start and maintain your business for a couple of months before you break even.
Education and tutorial centers
This is a notch higher than starting a home tutorial. In this way, you can increase your revenue by catering for students that need assistance especially when preparing for exams like WAEC, GCE and JAMB.
The success rate in these exams is usually below average and you can set up a tutorial centre that caters for these students and you’re sure to receive massive returns on your investment.
Twenty years ago, you could rise to the top of your profession with a little or no knowledge of computer. But these days, you won’t even get an entry level job without basic computer skills. This is why setting up a computer school can be a lucrative business opportunity.
Satchet water business
A satchet water venture is another popular business opportunity which you can never have enough since people are always drinking water on the go.
Bead production is another growing business venture. Wedding events take place every weekend and one of the popular accessories worn by the bride and groom is beaded jewelry.
If you’re a pharmacist, it’s quite straightforward. On the other hand, if you’re a non-pharmacist, you’ll need to partner with a pharmacist to setup your store. You can select a neighbourhood where the pharmacy stores are sparse.
There are many lovers of pets especially dogs in Nigeria. You can specialize in exotic breeds like alsation, chihuahua, rothweiler and so on. But you will need to invest a little money in getting these breeds.
Every man loves a great hair cut and they will pay any amount to get the right barber. If you can get expert barbers, you can start a barbing salon.
There’s always the need to print especially with individuals, small scale as well as medium scale businesses. You can offer your printing service to this target market and you’ll be smiling home from the bank in a short while
It is very easy to learn the art of painting but if you don’t want to, you can employ painters while you focus on marketing the business.
Wedding events, birthday parties and business meeting always involve an item 7 (food) and the service of a caterer is always required in this case.
It’s not so difficult to starting a furniture business even if you can’t make the furniture. However, you will need to market your products and get enough clients to sustain your business. Also, the furniture business can be very lucrative due to the high margins.
Owning a car in Nigeria is more of a necessity than a luxury. As a result, there are new people every day looking to learn how to drive.
Once you can obtain the necessary permit from the Federal Road Safety Commission, you can kick start your driving school with a couple of vehicles.
Drycleaning is another lucrative business especially in the urban cities. Most people hardly have time for themselves due to their busy work schedule as a result; dry cleaning or laundry business has grown to become very lucrative.
Soap making is quite easy to learn and can be very lucrative if you can properly advertise your service.
Recharge card business
Recharge card business can be very profitable especially if you’re involved in the wholesale aspect of this business. With many resellers buying from you, you can receive a high turnover due to large quantities sold.
Every organization has come to understand the essence of having a website as a result the need for web designers has skyrocketed in recent years. You can work as a solo web designer if you have the skill or you can set up an agency involved in web design.
Fashion design has become a trendy career option in recent times. From young school leavers to university graduate, this vocation has become a viable business option and it’s quite lucrative
Once upon time nobody thought blogging could be a lucrative business opportunity until a certain Linda Ikeji made it quite popular with billions of naira in her account as a result of owning a blog.
Freelance writers are in high demand by many companies due to the proliferation of websites and the need to promote content.
Plumbing is another high demand business option due to the dearth of professionals in this vocation. As a result of the small number of plumbers, if you offer a plumbing service you can charge a reasonable amount of money and the number keeps going if you’re really good at what you do.
Lighting and electrical service is often needed by people from time to time. From churches to project managers, there’s always a reason to hire the services of an electrician or lighting professional.
Nursery and Primary School
Starting a school is another viable means of creating a steady stream of income. However, this business can be quite capital intensive.
Everyone needs to eat but only a few have time to prepare a proper meal. This is especially common in urban centres where most working class individuals barely have enough time for cooking. You can employ cooks or you can provide the service yourself if you’re a great cook.
People travel all the time and they often need a place to stay. Providing a hotel service can be a way of meeting this need. However, you will need ample capital to build a hotel or refurbish an existing building.
With an increasing need to generate foreign exchange, food export has become a great way to generate income in dollars. However, there are constraints in getting the necessary permit before you can begin to export food items.
With the country largely dependent on foreign imports, you can join the train by identifying a product that is in huge demand and importing it into the country to sell to your numerous customers.
Almost everyone spend a large chunk of their time on their mobile devices as a result, marketers need to reach people through online means. You can take some courses online with regards to online advertising and digital marketing and you’re good to go.
The entertainment industry comes with a lot of opportunities. You just need to study the industry and find out these opportunities and in a short while you’ll be counting your cash.
Retail is one of the easiest businesses to start yet it comes with a reasonable return on your investment. An example is starting a retail supermarket in your neighbourhood.
Although the margins in any wholesale business are much lower than retail, you can get your wholesale business running if you can reach out to businesses in your niche.
Making pastries and snack is another hot business opportunities. You can make these snacks in bulk and sell to retailers.
Snails are a great source of protein but they are quite expensive. You can set up a snail farm where you can breed them and sell them in the market.
Once you can identify the right, you should do your due diligence in terms of market research then get started.