33 Small Scale Business And Trades To Venture Into In Nigeria


It’s one thing to decide to start a small business, while it’s another to know exactly which business to delve into. Many Nigerians who want to become entrepreneurs do not really know which opportunities are available. If you’re one of those, you’re just on the right page.

The Nigerian economy is getting harsher by the day, and job security is fast becoming history. Even the pay from most jobs isn’t enough to help most Nigerians to settle their bills. This explains why more and more people are looking to start small side businesses to make extra income.

This epic post reveals several business opportunities that can fetch you lots of profit here in Nigeria at the moment. Read on to become more enlightened.

Transport business

Whether it’s an okada or a taxi for local transport, or a bus for inter-state transport, buy any one you can afford and start your own transport business. Transport is a daily necessity, so it’s a hot business. But finding a trustworthy driver could be difficult.

School business

Start a primary or secondary school (or both). More and more Nigerians are appreciating education and are sending their wards to schools. But it could take months to years to get a decent number of pupils/students–depending on your marketing strategy.

Pharmacy/patent medicine

This business moves faster than owning a hospital because pharmacy stores and chemist’s shops are where most Nigerians first visit whenever they feel sick.


As more and more Nigerian mothers join the working class category, there is little or no time to take care of their children. But they’re willing to pay anyone who can do that for them. This business idea is appropriate for women.

Catering service

Catering is another hot business in Nigeria right now. Several thousands of parties are held in Nigeria every week, so there is a lot of business for caterers. If you have some culinary skills, start a catering service, and you’ll make money. If you don’t, attend a catering school.

Event planning

This is another business that takes advantage of the fact that Nigerians organize parties a lot. If you enjoy organizing parties, have keen eye for alluring color combinations, and pay attention to detail, this idea is for you. Truth is, no matter how harsh the economy is, Nigerians will party!


If you can afford the cost of a truck, buy one and start making money with it. Many Nigerian companies are willing to pay big money to truck owners who use their truck for commercial haulage.

Baby items

Start selling baby items such as wears and toys. You have a large target market, pregnant women and nursing mothers. No matter what state the economy is in, the country welcomes thousands of new babies every single day.

Rental business

Rent out things that are needed at parties, such as tents, chairs and tables, utensils, cutlery, and other things that people borrow for one-time use (such as wedding gowns, etc.). Nigerians love partying.


Most homes in Nigeria use kerosene on a daily basis for cooking. If you live in an area where there are more of middle-class and lower-class families, this is a good business opportunity for you. Just get one or two surface tanks and start selling.

Hair salon

Even in hard times, Nigerians love to take care of their hair. Whether it’s a barbing salon for men or a hairdressing salon for women, start anyone of your choice, and you’ll be on your way to financial independence. Even if you’re not a skilled barber or hairdresser, you can work with someone who has the skills while you provide the funds required to acquire business space and other requirements.

Real estate

This is the second most lucrative business in Nigeria after oil and gas. If you have enough money to invest in houses and other property, do that because such assets don’t depreciate. You can even start buying and selling small pieces of land for a start. In some low-profile areas in the country, land sells for as cheap as N50,000 per plot or less! Invest in such assets, and you’ll sell for multiples in few years to come.

Travel agency

Millions of Nigerians are nursing the dream of travelling out of the country in search of greener pastures. If you have some expert knowledge of how to easily secure visa to certain countries, then you can make money from that knowledge by helping people secure their visas. If you don’t have this knowledge but are still interested in the business, enroll for some formal training to become a certified international travel agent.

Poultry farming

It’s a no brainer, but this business is hot. Though it has its own share of risk, there’s no limit to how much profit you can make from selling eggs and fowls because they are in constantly huge demand.

Car wash

As easy as washing a car might seem, most car owners are too busy to do it themselves. Besides, not all cars can be washed anyhow. So, this is another good business opportunity for any smart person. You don’t have to be the one to wash cars yourself. Just hire someone to do that, while you pay that person out of the money you charge your clients.

Frozen foods

Buy a deep freezer and start selling frozen fish, chicken, turkey, ice cream, yoghurt, and other related edibles. The demand for these foods is high in Nigeria, so your chances of success are very bright. But you’ll need a constant supply of electricity.

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Sachet water production

Though there are already many players in this business, there’s still enough room for new players, since sachet water sells like wild all over Nigeria. Getting NAFDAC approval is important if you want peace of mind.

Building materials

New buildings and structures are erected and developed in Nigeria every day. So, any business that sells the various materials used in building construction has a large market to serve. You can start small with smaller items like pipes and roofing sheets.


This business needs no introduction. Most Nigerians buy from supermarkets regularly. And because supermarkets sell a wide variety of products, they attract lots of customers. However, starting one requires huge capital, unless you start small with a modest inventory.


People eat food every day, so this business is sure to succeed provided you play your cards right. Come up with a good menu, find a perfect location, hire few more hands to help, and you’d be in business.

Fast food & snacks

Of course, you know the rate at which Nigerian eat stuffs like popcorn, plantain chips, cocoyam chips, doughnut, sausage, meat pie, and so on. That’s enough proof that selling such stuffs is a hot business in Nigeria.

Small scale export

Though this business is little-known, many Nigerians are making a lot of money from it. It involves exporting consumables such as charcoal, bitter cola, cocoa, etc. to other countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Yes, you’d be paid generously — in foreign currency.

Fashion design

Nigerians are fashion crazy. If you have a knack for this line of business, get started right away, and you’d be making huge profits anytime soon. You can quickly get a good grasp of how the whole business works by enrolling at any of the reputable fashion schools in Nigeria.

Make-up artistry

Make-up artistry is becoming more and more lucrative by the day. From people who are looking to make themselves beautiful for special occasions to celebrities who can’t do without make-up, the client pool is just large.

In addition, the services of make-up artists are needed in movie and music video sets, and many other instances. If you have a knack for helping people to look beautiful, enroll with a make-up school in Nigeria to polish your skills.

Filling station

This involves a big startup capital, but you can get that with a loan. You’re sure to recoup your investment within a short period because oil and gas is the hottest business in Nigeria right now.

Cement sales/distribution

Because new houses and structures are constructed in Nigeria every day, the demand for cement is huge. Take advantage of this fact by starting your own cement sales or distributorship business. Just get a safe place to store up your cement, and you’re in business.

Mini importation

This is importation business on a small scale. You’ll simply order cheap products like Powerbanks and make-up kits from China or U.S., and sell them for lucrative prices here in Nigeria. No company registration or other protocol is required.

Fish farming

Despite that there are many Nigerians already in this business, the demand for fish in the country is still far more than the supply. So, there is still enough room for new players in this very lucrative business. Note that you’ll have to spend some time to learn about the business before taking a plunge.

Grocery store

If there’s any business that can never fail in this Nigeria, it has to be grocery retail. Find a good shop near you and start something like a mini-ShopRite. Start small, and with good management the business will grow with time. There’s demand for grocery everywhere and every time, so go for this business option if you can.

Boutique (mobile)

No matter what the state of the economy is, people will still buy new clothes. So, starting a boutique is a smart idea. You can make your own boutique business stand out by offering home and office promotion and delivery. That is, rather than wait for customers to locate your shop, go to their homes and offices with what they’re likely to be interested in. With this strategy, you’ll make more sales and grow your business quickly.

Smartphone/tablet repair

Almost every Nigerian adult has a not just a phone but a smartphone. Tablets are also very common in the country. It goes without saying that these gadgets are prone to faults like broken screens, damaged charging ports, and so on.

So, if you’re the tech type and a fast learner, you can learn how to fix damaged phones and tabs within a few months and start making money from your knowledge right away.


Even if the economy is smiling, Nigerians will buy jewelries such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, and so on. If you have a decent startup capital, you can start a jewelry retail business. To start with, you can take your wares to people in their homes or offices. This way, you’ll get customers and grow your business faster.

Solar panels/inverters

If you’re a fast learner, you can make a lot of money selling and installing solar panels and inverters. Power supply in Nigeria is next to zero, and most Nigerians turn towards alternative sources of power. Before now, generators were the only option. But with inverters and solar panels now available, many people are favoring them over generators.

Source: Nigerian Facts


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