Africa is home to some of the countries with the fastest growing economy across the world. As of 2020, Nigeria had the biggest economy in Africa with a GDP of $446.5 billion followed by South Africa ($358.8 billion), Egypt ($302.3 billion) and Algeria ($172.8 billion).
The Nigerian economy, for example, is driven mainly by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) founded by private individuals. And statistics reveal that SMEs account for 96% of businesses in the country, 84% employment and 48% of national GDP. Showing that there are several businesses in Nigeria and Africa as a whole that require small capital to start up.
In other words, there are lots of small business ideas that you can grow from almost nothing to possibly million-dollar businesses someday.
So, if you’re a newbie entrepreneur or a business-savvy individual waiting to first save a lot of money or get a large loan before you start your business, here are 15 lucrative small business ideas you can start in Nigeria or Africa with small capital:
1). Network Marketing:
No job or business? Consider starting a network marketing business.
Network marketing is a modern marketing model in which a third party workforce undertakes the sales and distribution of products for commissions. The success of the network marketing system is based largely on its pyramid structure in which distributors ‘recruit’ more distributors and get commissions for the sales made by their recruits.
You could start a network marketing business by creating a system with a company or simply joining an existing network. All you have to do is sell and invite others to sell the given products! Little to no capital, little to no risks!!
2). Car Wash Business:
The car wash business is one of the job opportunities associated with the automobile business.
Everyone keeps the cars clean from time to time. And many who have no time to clean it themselves require the services of others instead; making starting a car wash business a business to venture into.
As of 2019, the global car wash industry was valued at over $34 billion with strong indications that it will exceed $40 billion by 2025.
Starting a car wash business is easy; space, a water source and small cleaning tools. There is enough room for growth right from there.
3). Waste Collection Business:
The waste collection and the recycling industry is a large industry with global significance. The continuous depletion of the limited earth resources makes it a core necessity to collect and recycle waste materials.
Tons of plastics, leather, rubber, textile, paper and metal materials, amongst others, are disposed of each passing day.
You could make a lucrative business out of waste collection with little or no capital. Simply identify your waste materials of interest, network with a recycling company and start collecting and supplying wastes.
4). Cake Making Business:
It is difficult to determine what amount of cake people consume all over the world every day, but as of 2019, the cake making industry was worth $43 billion, with an anticipated growth rate of 3.3% till 2027.
The introduction of new flour types, flavour and recipes within the last decade has boosted the cake market.
Contrary to popular, however, you could start a cake making business with very little capital. It is one of the small capital business ideas you can comfortably start from the comfort of your home. With a steady demand and online presence, you could make a great business of cake making.
5). Popcorn Production Business:
Popcorn production is a small capital business idea you can start from anywhere in Nigeria or Africa! The popcorn business enjoys a steady demand from all classes of people, but most especially from students and schoolchildren.
With the basic tools for production and packing such as the popcorn machine, measuring devices, a show glass, etc., you could grow your small business into a large brand. All you have to do is network with schools, cinemas and other hot spots.
6). Content Marketing Business:
Content marketing describes the business of selling knowledge and information to internet users. All over the world, people spend quality time on the internet seeking information, ranging from the best hotels around, to legal ways to make money. There is no end to what questions people are asking on the web. It is the job of content creators to provide answers to such questions in forms that appeal to the consumers.
With your mobile phone or computer and access to the internet, you could start a successful content creation business anywhere your and sell your products!
7). Bookkeeping Services:
Bookkeeping involves helping companies keep records of financial transactions, studying and analyzing available financial data to make business decisions.
Although bookkeeping requires professional training, starting a career out of it costs very little. You could work as a private consultant for SMEs and companies who are not willing or capable of employing an in-house bookkeeper. Also, you could work with individual small businesses to help them.
8). Blogging Or Vlogging:
Blogging or vlogging is another small capital business anyone can start right in their bedroom. The African cyberspace, for example, has witnessed tremendous growth in digitization; an opportunity that has opened the eyes of many content creators to the possibilities in blogging and vlogging on the web and platforms such as Instagram and YouTube.
Blogging and vlogging require just a computer, access to the web and a few digital skills, and you’re good to go!
9). Resume Or CV Writing Business:
CV writing requires no startup capital but great writing & document restructuring skills. It also benefits from a large stream of demand because job seekers are constantly in need of professional CV development and review services.
The great part is that you don’t have to spend a dime to startup if you already have a computer!
What matters is selling your brand to the public via social media, freelance sites, and more.
10). Graphics Design:
Graphics design is another soft-skill business growing around the world. It involves creating visual concepts, images and ideas.
Graphics designers create logos, flyers, visual designs, brochures, magazines, and much more for a fee per project or per period of time.
If you’re a creative person who has acquired the right skills, you could set up your personal graphics design brand as a freelance designer and promote your services online or partner with a web development company.
11). Software Development:
Software developers design and program mobile applications, websites, software tools, and other basic programmes that make daily tasks easier.
Web and software development is a digital skill that requires extensive training but it is a lucrative small business idea with great prospects because once you have the right skills and a computer, you’d spend little to no money per software project you deliver.
With the right branding and publicity strategy, you could build a software development brand that could serve hundreds and possibly thousands of clients.
12). Dry Cleaning Business:
The success of a dry cleaning business depends on the quality of service delivery and the location, especially one dominated by working-class people.
Dry cleaning requires little capital because people prefer to have the best cleaning materials and tools for their clothes.
Notwithstanding, it is a lucrative small capital business idea that anyone with the right laundry and drycleaning skills could start.
13). Food Processing And Packaging Business:
The food processing business is a small capital business idea you can start depending on what aspect of food processing you want to venture into.
Food processing involves selling processed raw food items into either cooked foods, snacks, or even repackaging raw food items.
Its simplicity makes anyone with great culinary skills could start a food processing business.
14). Photography Business:
Like every other soft skills business, the photography business is available to everyone who can learn to take great professional photos with the right gear.
Photography enjoys a large market because everyone loves to capture many of the greatest moments in their lives.
Graduation ceremonies, funerals, wedding events, club meetings, conferences, music concerts, festivals, shows, etc. are prime target occasions for photographers.
It is also important to promote your craft on social media, events, and also to have a network of happy clients and other photographers in order to enjoy steady patronage.
15). Fashion Design Business:
The fashion industry has grown tremendously over time with an increased global taste in fashion, causing several small businesses to benefit from its growth.
Starting a fashion business is not as demanding as perceived. It is a business idea you can start with small capital from the corner of your room, a store, or a boutique either as a designer, a normal tailor, or a retailer selling online and/or offline.
To Sum It Up
With an abundance of small business ideas with small capital available in Nigeria or Africa, you too can start where you are and someday build a million-dollar business.
With little capital required to startup most of these ventures, you can start small and grow today.
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