50 Successful Small Businesses in Nigeria with less capital startup

Updated; 26th December 2016. Additional successful profitable businesses to start in Nigeria 2017 and beyond are;

  • Sackets and bottle water packaging and selling business (the capital input might be a bit high)
  • Importation /Mini-importation business (seriously affected by exchange rate )
  • Product sales and distribution (the capital input might be high)
  • Mobile phone accessory business (though no longer as lucrative as in 2015)

Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time — sometimes years — to master a skill, craft, or habit. And while it’s good to keep perspective on your dreams, I think it’s better to remember the other side of this story”

Ask how any multi- national company or big corporation began, you will discover that they all started from nothing. Becoming successful in any small business in Nigeria is a difficult task; it requires serious dedication, hard work, having the right mindset and taking the right steps. I have earlier discussed some of the right steps you can take to begin a profitable small business in Nigeria.

Are you a Nigerian looking for small business that you can start with little or no money money.  Are you an entrepreneur searching for small business to invest on? Do you have small amount of money but you don’t have any business idea. There are lots of small business opportunities in Nigeria. Here are list of most Successful Small Business in Nigeria with little capital investment and some with no money startup.

If you are dedicated with this business, you won’t mind putting up extra hours into it and definitely you will succeed. Be passionate about your business and you succeed. Try to visit other people who are in the same business with you, share ideas with them so that you can be updated on the current trend in the business. These are secret of any successful business.

Below are Successful Small Businesses in Nigeria you can start in 2017 and beyond; I have group these businesses into sector by sector for easy comprehension.

SMALL PROFITABLE AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS-Small Agricultural businesses are the most successful small business in Nigeria that requires little capital start up. Most of the major inputs are space (land), water and the viable breeds (crops and animals). The businesses can be started as a sole-proprietor and then grown to Limited Liability Company.

Here are small lucrative Agricultural Businesses
1. Poultry farming business
2. Fishery Business (catfish and Tilapia Rearing)
3. Snail Rearing Business
4. Piggery Business
5. Dog Rearing and Breeding Business
6. Livestock feed production
7. Floral business (Growing flower )– the best floral money-makers, include:
• Cut flowers
• Everlastings
• Woody Ornamentals
• Flower bulbs
8. Maize processing Business
9. Rice Milling Business
10. Cassava processing Business
11. Palm oil Processing Business

LUCRATIVE SPECIAL BUSINESS SERVICES-The major inputs or materials for this type of business include: canopies, chairs, tables, stools, table dress cloth, big cooking utensils, and ribbons for hiring and manpower. These types of businesses are not difficult to start. It will best suit women than men but anybody can start the business.
12. Rental Service Business
13. Event Management business
14. Party Planner and Event Planner Business
15. Bakery confectioneries

Ambulance service business

SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL SECTOR BUSINESS-The major inputs in these businesses are computer, manpower and space.
16. Home tutoring and Coaching Business
17. Tutorial and Lesson centre Business
18. Catering centre and Catering school business
19. Nanny Service and Day care centre
20. Self empowerment centre and Workshop centre
21. Computer and business school

COMPUTER AND TECHNOLOGY SERVICES BUSINESS-The major materials needed are computer or laptop, sets of screw drivers and testers, printing machine, phones and mobile phones, internet connection and manpower.
22. Computer repair and services Business
23. Mobile phone repairs Business
24. Mobile apps development
25. Games development
26. Graphic Designer and Printing business
27. Directory Publisher
28. Mobile money agents business

PROFITABLE SPECIAL PRODUCTION BUSINESS
29. Liquid soap production business
30. Perfume, and body ornamental production business

INTERNET BASED SERVICES BUSINESS
I have written a post on 20 Ways of Making Cash Online in Nigeria; these are all internet based Businesses and they are specified means of making money online in Nigeria. These internet based businesses may require little or no capital to start them up. You can actually make money online by those ways if you are dedicated and hardworking. There is no hard and fast rule about making money online.

In conclusion, I believe that what you have read above will be resourceful to you.
There are other lucrative and successful small businesses in Nigeria which any serious minded entrepreneur can do. All that are needed are diligent and hard work.

I wish you good luck as you set to start up any of the above successful small business in Nigeria.

N.B: I will keep this article updated yearly.

 

120 thoughts on “50 Successful Small Businesses in Nigeria with less capital startup”

  1. Thanks for this list of profitable and lucrative businesses in Nigeria.
    Please, which of these businesses can I invest a capital less than twenty thousand naira ( N20,000) in Nigeria. I’m considering starting a poultry farming business.

    1. Hello Ben, Poultry farming business is a lucrative business but it you need a enough space. You can start small with boiler and cockerel rearing then grow it big to Layers poultry farming. N20,000 is enough to start this business if you have space.

  2. Thank u for this great info, pls how much does it take to start up a cat fish business and what’s the space like. Pls I need ur phone number or email so that I can communicate with u directly on some other things. Thank u.

    1. Hello Micheal,

      COST OF STARTING CATFISH BUSINESS

      I don’t know where you are reading this article from; however, I want you to understand that situations and environments differ.

      If you are reading this article from Lagos, others from Imo, PH, Ekiti, Kano,Enugu and countries outside Nigeria may think the cost I have given here will be same. You can’t expect the cost of land to build pond (for instance) in Lagos to be the same with that of Oyo?

      You can’t also expect the cost of labour in Akwa Ibom to be the same with the cost of labour in Kano?
      Even some other materials you might expect to be of the same price are not (even in the same city). The best way to do this is to move out and ask questions.

      You`ll definitely get the cost of things you need to get started in your locality.

      If you`re planning to start the business in a big way, you may need a bole hole, a tank, a fish pond, dependable electricity to pump water and some staff to work with you.

      You will also have to get the price of the feeds you`ll need for feeding your catfish.

      The major reason why I usually avoid discussing about the cost or price on this site is because cost, price or profit are all relative.
      For example, the amount you`ll need to purchase a hectare of land to construct a fish pond in Abuja can comfortably take care of all your cost in certain part of Oyo state and the price you will sell an average catfish in Lagos may be what you`ll sell two in Kano.

      You`ll see that it doesn`t make sense to jump into conclusion that certain amount of money is what you`ll need to start a catfish business or that certain amount is what you`ll make.

      The best way I think will be to go out and investigate both your cost of starting the cat fish business and your likely profit. How much can a pond be constructed in your locality? How much it will take you to get a bole hole done? How much can you get a tank to store water? Then, how much can you get 100, 500, 1000 etc catfish fingerlings?

      Know who your competitors are and how to win there in the business.
      You can start your cat fish business where the cost of labour is low so as to sell at competitive price?

      Don`t try building your fish pond yourself, if you don`t know how to do so.
      The catfish pond should be standard. Consult some nearby fish farmers who have ponds for advice.

      Even if every other thing is alright, a bad pond can kill your profit.
      Catfish is freshwater animal. Poor quality water alone can kill your efficiency. The best sources of water for fishing business are borehole and river. Rain water and tap water from treated source is not good for your fish.

      Check acidity of your water. Acidic water is bad for fish. To check this, you`ll need to buy a PH meter, read your water and see the acid level.

      Also about the feeds. Your fish must be well feed. Your feeds should contain proper nutrients like lysine, arginine and methionine. Some farmers try using local meals to feed their fish.

      This may be good provided those meals contain the essential nutrients your fish. You have to increase your fish feeds as they grow, or otherwise, they will suffer malnutrition.

      My email address is immax2005@gmail.com
      Phone number;234-703-884-4464

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  4. Recharge cards businesses are a great one to start with little investment. The business is so lucrative that you will make a living out of it.
    What I found more interesting about selling the recharge cards is that no matter the small denomination produced, you will surely sell to people that need them. and another good thing about the business is that there is NO wastage in it.

  5. I want to open a woman,s shop for my wife.We live in a not too open area in Ikorodu.She prefers to start it at home because she thinks that in the next 2 years the place will open up.I am of the opinion that we should start it in an open area and later build one at home when she is well known.
    Please advise me.

    1. Hello Aisuan David,
      I will suggest that you open up the shop for your wife in a highly traffic area, may be that is what you meant by “open area”. Opening up the shop at home can also be good if the area is a high populated residential area. However, ensure that the open area is secured before opening the shop for your wife otherwise follow your wife suggestion…which is starting business from home.

      1. Good advice.
        please follow your wife suggestion… which starting business from home.
        I also intrested in this business buy helping my wife as well.

    1. Hi I am based in South Africa if you want advise and information on graphic design do follow our company work on facebook and observe the dynamics of the industry.

      Comany: Future Investment Today

  6. Hello Am Patrick by name am a sales Representative at OGBEFUN OBIAHON Company Benin city. Business is one major thing in all country that individuals do normally love to go into but not everyone have ideal of which of the business to go into. Some young ladies and men have money but they don’t even know what to do with the money and as well what kind of business they should go into with it. Nigeria as a country have grow so very high and large in population,since 2001,2002,2003,2004, most people do go for new clothes but now are days is not like that most young men and girls mummies / daddies , they are all going for foreign use clothes which is popularly know as OK clothes or OKRIKA in the local markets. What we are doing now is to give help to those individuals that have interest in starting their own business we notice in Nigeria now most people prefer OK clothes it last more than the new clothes. Do you want to start your own OK or OKRIKA business and you are thinking how to start or thinking about the money to start,worry know more my dear friends,we deal on all kinds of bails LONDON Bails ,CHINA Bails ,KOREA Bails and lots more. We render our service to all part of this country,we deal on WHOLESALES AND RETAILS, E.G SUIT BALES ,LEATHER BELT BALES,SOCKS BALES,CAPS BALES,SHOES BALES,INDIAN GOWNS BALES,ALL KINDS OF ALL BALES. You can easily purchase bales from us as well even when you don’t have much money with you. Don’t stress yourself of transportation we always take care of that. contact us today, number:08156017900 call or whatssapp email:bestbailsservice121@gmail.com GOD BLESS YOU.

    1. What to go into Okrika business in Nigeria , Lagos state . I’m based in London . Where can I get supplier in London and customers in Lagos and what grade of cloth is best for business

      1. Want to start okrika business in Lagos , Nigeria but based in London , I like to know where I can get customers to buy them in Lagos and what grade of cloth is good for business ?

        1. I base in Nigeria, AWKA in Anambra state to be precise. I want to start OK business but I need a supplier from London or Lagos with good delivery system.

          A verify supplier should put his/her contact here to help others

  7. Hi,I live in United States of America and thinking of starting up a business in Nigerian,but am not sure of what to do because I have lots of business ideas.opening up a cosmetic shop,or selling children’s wears and toys,or kids party planing.

    1. Hello Nike,
      If you ask me to choose for you among the business you mention above; I will choose a cosmetic shop. If all things being equal, the business is profitable however; you need to consider some factors. These factors include; where you will situate the business (location), competition, target market, capital startup, management etc

    2. Hi Nike, that sounds wonderful, once you have decided on your business idea we can provide you with the best quality branding and marketing services, we are based in South Africa and can build a network so you can showcase you product in South Africa and around Africa. Please do follow us on facebook for more info.
      Facebook: Future Investment Today

    3. Yes, my name is Dr Owolabi Hakeem. We can start as much business as possible, but, first, honesty and focus for biz growth, rather than suspicion and greed for money. If you fit into this, let start together

  8. Greetings,am mrs Ngozi from nigeria. I just finished my service and am looking for a business to do. Pls advice me whether to chose poultry feed,printing of recharge card pin, cosmetics, and saloon business.. Pls help me

    1. Hello Ngozi,

      it all depends on;

      1. your capital (whether you want start it as a large scale, medium scale or small scale business)
      2. the one you have little or good knowledge of.
      3. your location and where you intend locating the business.
      Etc.
      However, being a young woman; I suggest you start with cosmetics and saloon business.

      If you need a good business plan on cosmetics and saloon business, we can provide that for you.

      1. I need plans on how to start unisex saloon and also cosmetics business. I live in IB and I’ve been getting confused on how to monitor and manage the Business.

      2. I need plans on how to start unisex saloon and also cosmetics business. I live in IB and I’ve been getting confused on how to monitor and manage the Business.

  9. Hello Emma, I’m based in the UK. I’m on the verge of sending 500,000 naira to my younger sister in Lagos to start a business. Is this amount substantial for a small scale business and if so which business can bring her monthly income in the shortest possible time?

  10. Hi Emma,
    Please is it possible to start a poultry and fish pond business in abj with 200-250k? if its possible can you advice? also, please do yo have an idea about the profit from both?

    1. Hello Pika,
      That amount will not be feasible for both businesses. Constructing a good fish pond alone can take up to 200k. The profit margin depends on how large the business is.

  11. Hi Emma
    What are the necessary requirement to start up a DSTV and a GOTV subscription service center. and please tell me what to do on how to actualize the business most especially the step and procedures. and also the amount required. please you can email me the details on aforssaint@yahoo.com

    1. Hello afors saint,
      I want to suggest that if you must do this business, you need to combined it with other related business because;
      1. A lot of people are already into it.
      2. it is no longer lucrative as it use to be because people at the comfort of their home can subscribe for DSTV OR GOTV. Secondly, DSTV subscription charges are on a higher side, people are looking for best alternative.
      3. There are other satellite and TV networks available and affordable. Etc.
      For requirement, visit DSTV and GOTV office close to you to find out their requirements.

  12. Nice site. Am confused on the business to start wit. I don’t want to end up wit out am impart. Am thinkin of startin the production chemical of soap,izal,dettol,vaseline etc. Ao much do i nid 2 start all diz.

    1. Hello Wada Esther,
      It depends on your location, how big you want to begin and the cost of things over things. Go for market survey in your locality to find out the cost of the reagents and other materials needed for the production.

  13. Startin up a chemical production business such as : Liquid soap, lzal, dettol, vaseline etc. Ao much do i av to get to start wit. Bro Emma

  14. Please how much will it cost to start up a small scale cosmetic business in lagos cause I’m really confused. If u don’t mind, do u mind giving me ur number so I can reach u on phone
    I truly need help

    1. Hello Opeyemi,
      That’s a good capital to start off a business with. There are many businesses you can start with such capital. Have you consider the ones listed in the article above?
      It all depends on you (your area of interest, skills and location).
      Here are other businesses to consider;
      1. Registering with a company as a distributor or sub-distributor of highly selling products depending on the company.
      2. Starting a partnership production company.
      3. Starting a Lesson/academic training centre.
      4. starting a catfish farming is also an option depending on you.
      5. starting eateries/Joints is also an option
      And so on

  15. this is a wonderful work, well done! interestedly, i love business but the questions i always ask myself are what type of biz, and where do i start the biz, start up capita at small scale level is never my problem. in my area we have availability of crops like; maize, melon (ugosi), ginger, yam, sorghum, few of soybeans, cassava, groundnut and other. some year i do buy , store and later sell when the price shoot up. is this enough? No! how do i stretch further, especially how to add value to this crops, how to maximize the opportunities as regard to this potential crops in my areas. how can i create job opportunities for desire youths around using the available crops mention above? please i need advice, and support from intelligent people like you

    1. Hello Daruwana Idris,
      You have all it takes to start up a business and grow higher. It is all about your mindset. Since in your locality you have all these crops available, you have to think outside the box. Josian Gilbert Holland once said, “there is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast, withers as rapidly. That which grows slowly, endures”. You have to start somewhere, no matter how little it is. There is no harm in trial. Doing business is a risk-taking venture.

      1. With some of these crops, you can start production business like production of poultry feed, starch production, flour production, G-nut oil etc. This depends on your capital as you have to register for company name, buy machines etc.
      2. You can start exportation business (locally and internationally). They can be converted to semi-finished products and then sale.
      Diversification is the key to a successful business. Start somewhere today and diversify tomorrow.

      I wish you best as you start up this ever-flourishing business.

  16. GOOD DAY MY NAME IS GABRIEL,I WANT TO GO INTO POULTRY FARMING BUSINESS,I AV A HALF PLOT OF LAND, THE LOCATION IS OGUN STATE ALTHOUGH I DON’T LIVE THERE,AND ALSO A SUM OF 500,000 NAIRA,DID U THINK DATS THE BEST TO DO OR U AV ANOTHER BUSINESS IDEA IN MIND……

  17. Thanks for this article. I am the CEO of Ronola Events. Pls contact me on for your social and corporate event planning. A trial will indeed convince you

  18. Hello, I’m a pharmacist and I’m serving at the moment, I have spare 40,000 naira right now. I know it’s very little money in this economy to start up anything. I just don’t want to squander the money. I’m a busy person too. Most of these investment opportunities require so much time and presence. I can’t seem to find something I can do with my just mobile phone. Any advice? Thanks

  19. Please sir,I want to start a business on selling baby n adults diapers, different kind of pads,wipers,etc.how do I start n how do I gets to the dealers or subdealers for supply.I have a shop already. waiting for your response. thanks.

    1. How to start selling babes’, adults’ diapers, pads of different kinds,wipers etc

      To start selling babes’, adults’ diapers, pads of different kinds,wipers,etc.;
      1. Carry out market survey; it involves an examination of what people want to buy, how to communicate with them through advertising, what competitors are doing, etc.A market survey will shows which of your product are most popular among consumers.
      2. find the best location or shop – (you said you have a shop already, noted). Your shop should be a high traffic area.
      3. Determine how much you will like to start with. Write out list of the product you will first concentrate on, make it as wide as possible as much as your capital can cover.

      4. Getting distributors and sub-distributor of these product (How you buy your products). The best way of locating the manufacturers, distributors and sub-distributors of these products is to find out from those who are already into business that are in your locality or close to your locality. So, ask questions! Never be discourage by some negative/bad response of some businessmen. Products like diapers, different kind of pads, wipers etc, you can get their distributors and sub-distributors in places like Cotonou, Aba, Lagos, kano, etc.
      You should know that the beginning of any business is usually difficult. So don’t be discourage by the low turnover or sales, let your passion for the business keep you moving.

      All the Best! Wishing you success as you begin the business.

  20. Hello Emma,

    I like how you’re helping your community with business advice. We are both working on the same topic and might be able to collaborate. Please visit my site and if you like it leave a comment on one of the posts.
    I hope to hear from you soon,
    Moshe

  21. Hi, please am thinking of going into hair cream for natural hair and also into liquid soup. Please I need your candid advice on this. How much will it cost me to start up these. Thanks

    1. Hello Chika,
      I want to start by asking if;
      1. you have skills for the production of hair cream for natural hair and liquid soup or do you just want to start sale of these products.
      2. you have passion for production or sale of these products.
      Please, answer the above two questions so that we can proceed..

    1. Samuel,

      Very interesting that you want to embark on a business in school just with a thousand naira. Am please to inform you that a sachet water business for a start then kerosene business will be lucrative in school environment. While doing this, ensure you avoid spending from your capital and profit until it grows at least four months and before raining season for sachet water consumption will drop.

      My younger sister was a student in Obafemi Awolowo university some years ago and she made money from Kerosene.

      I wish you all the best as you start small, surely, you will prosper.

  22. Good day sir, i want to invest my 500k. I need your advice on what to invest in. Or better still a business which I can run in Abuja. Thank you

    1. Hello Akhetuamen dennis,
      I want to start by appreciating your courage in going into a small scale business.

      No.1 You should know that going into any business is risk venture. So, make up your mind before your venture into the business. It is better to take a calculated risk.

      No.2 Doing Business is all about offering values and solutions to peoples’ problems. I don’t know if you have decided on what small scale business to start. I will suggest, in addition to your decision to look around your vicinity or locality and see the gap you can fill. I mean you should think of what the people around you need most and start from there.

      No.3 Twenty thousand naira ( N20,000 ) is small considering the situation of the country but it can go a long way. It is Not the amount that you start the business that matters but your passion for the business and the zeal to succeed.

      No.4 Be informed. Ask questions! Don’t just jump into any business because you have the urge to start the business. Try to inquire about the success secret of the business you want to start. Every business has a secret. Once, you get it; you can comfortable open door of the business success. Ask those who are already into business. When getting a negative response from them, don’t be discourage; keeping moving forward. Go for market survey and make sure it properly done.

      No.5 Get skill. Make sure you acquire all the necessary training concerning the business otherwise you may not go too far on the business especially for a business that requires skill.

      No.6 Start the business! if your capital is not enough to start that your dream business, I will suggest you hold on, save and time.

      I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST! It can’t exhaust all I have to say here.

  23. Good day sir,

    I really find your wall interesting and encouraging. This is what we need in Nigeria.

    Please, can you advise me on any dealers of recharge cards; do they by any means do training and if the business is still profitable?

    Thank you.

  24. God bless you for a well done job here.
    Please i am interested in piggery. what do I need to start up with. start up capital in place like Ogun or Ekiti state

  25. Good day,pls I want to venture into selling of Nigerian made items such as indomie,detergent soap,laundry soap and biscuits pls any advice on this,note I already have a stand business which is imported goods

    1. Hello adeyemi abisola,
      My only advice is that you should know in a business of selling of such products; that what matters is the turn-over. You may need large capital for better turn over. If the turn-over is small after 5 to 6 months of the business, please diversify the business.

  26. I reside Anambra state, Awka to be precise. I have up-to 700K to start up a business to support my work. I don’t know know the kind of business to venture that will also give time for my work. Please I need your advice!

  27. Am a student pls i have upto 80k and am planning to start business but i dnt knw exactly to start with plz help me i need an advice

    1. Hello Mic
      There are a lot of businesses that you can start as student. But in all you have to ensure that it doesn’t coincides with the time of your lecture. The eighty thousand naira is ok. You can choose from this list: Businesses you can start as undergraduate or college student.

      You have to know that business and academy does not easily go together; it requires extra effort. So, to succeed you have to work extra hard but when you do, you will be the most happiest man in the world.

  28. hi, am tega by name, i am contemplating on going into cement business, hw much capital do u think is minimal and does location really matter very much?

  29. Hello Sir/ma

    Please can you advise me where to start from if i need to start online recharge card/dstv/gotv reload for people i already have client base but need a platform where i can start the website or something

  30. Hello, my location is Nigeria ,please i want to know the cost of starting up the business of frying Ankara, plantain, yam and sweet potato, how lucrative is it and how much capital does it entail and what exactly do think is needed to start up this business plus what do you think can be done to make it stand out among similar businesses.
    Thank you

  31. Hello again, please can one use their car to be part of the Uber system or use their car as an airport taxi, please what does it entail to be part of these systems, are there certain payments to be made or groups to be joined to be part of this transportation systems.

    Thank you

  32. Thanks for the good work u are doing. I am a graduate, from imo state but i base in akwa ibom state. Pls i have been out of work for more than a year nw. Pls wat biz can i do with 500k, though i have worked as a sales rep for guinness and GSK. THANKS.

    1. The location is Ok since you said it near an academic institution. Since, you are just starting, try to sell at cheaper rate compare to other provision business around there to gain customers. In terms of capital; if you have at least N200000, you can start with that and grow from there.

  33. Thanks for your help and exposition. I need a small business I can do to support my banking job since I am a contract banker. Please help me with business I can do as a young girl to support my banking job

  34. I have N500000 and wanna start a poultry business, I already have a land but I fear because I want to start with 500 layers but after I minus the construction expenses, the money dropped down to about N170000, Please which other business can I embark on.

    1. You can embark on sub-distributorship. There are many distributor and sub-distributorship business you can embark on. However, it depends on your location and the demands of the people there.

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