Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

6 minutes, 39 seconds Read
By Akinsuroju Olubunmi

Best small businesses that need little or no capital.

Best small businesses that need little or no capital


Generally in Africa, the operating environment is often very challenging for startups. Access to finance poses a major hurdle due to the bottlenecks primary lending institutions put on their way and the high cost of funds in the country. Banks charge over 35 percent interest rate. This has stifled small businesses’ potential to contribute meaningfully to the economy.


Startups have been identified as major sources of employment and drivers of economic development in any country.


According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Small and Medium Enterprises contribute about 48 percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product, making them a critical driver of economic growth and development.


SMEs are involved in various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, manufacturing, services, and retail, among others.


In July 2023, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa, said, “SMEs make up a huge percentage of businesses and economic growth. The digitisation of Micro Small Medium Enterprises would increase revenue by 26 percent as well as reduce operating costs by 22 percent, and contribute $53bn to the Nigerian economy.”


Inuwa stated this during his opening remark at the TechMyBiz Pitch-A-Thon event held in Lagos, which was jointly funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.


However, despite economic challenges, some Nigerians believe that it is still better to empower themselves and start something doing for themselves than to sit and wait for a white-collar job.


For Mrs. Chioma Nliam, working for someone has never been her thing. “I have never wanted to work for anybody. I have always wanted to do my things myself, right from my university days.


“While studying in Ghana, I had always wanted to do things for myself; that was why, when I left school, I decided to continue with my mum’s business, which is selling wines,” she said.


However, the graduate of Project Management from Zenith University in Ghana admitted that starting up and maintaining a business in Nigeria comes with a lot of challenges.


“In my over 4 years running this business, I have noticed that starting up and maintaining a business here in Nigeria is very challenging. Getting a loan to start up something is a big challenge; sustaining the already existing business is another challenge, considering the constantly increasing cost of materials in the market and even cost of rent,” Nliam said.


However, there are about 16 business opportunities that exist which require no or minimal upfront investment and these are what Akinsuroju Olubunmi has put together in this article.


POS/e-Payment Services.

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Setting up a point-of-sale terminal offers convenient electronic payment solutions. Services such as money transfers, bill payments, and airtime purchases can generate income. It is one of the most popular businesses among youth in the country currently. To get a PoS machine from banks, it costs around N30,000. So, with N100,000, you can become a PoS operator.


Phone Accessories

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Phones and mobile gadgets have become parts of our daily lives. And these gadgets need accessories. With as little as N200,000, you can start a mobile phone accessory shop, selling items like charges, earpieces, phone cases, etc.


Mobile Food Vendor and Delivery

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Catering to the demands of busy individuals and students by preparing and delivering meals can be a profitable venture. Providing ready-to-eat meals to those with limited time for cooking presents a lucrative business opportunity. The major equipment needed here is a wheelbarrow, a big cooler (about N15,000), and other smaller coolers (about N10,000) for rice, beans, and other food items. So, with an initial capital of N100,000, you can start this business.



Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Leveraging writing skills to offer copywriting services to businesses in need of promotional materials can generate income. Crafting compelling advertisements and marketing content allows for profitable writing abilities. All you need to start this business is your laptop. You can still get a good used laptop for N200,000.


Graphic Design

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

It can be profitable to use creativity to offer graphic design services to both individuals and businesses. Designing logos, flyers, and other visual assets offers avenues for earning from design expertise. With your laptop and printer, you are good to go.


Selling Clothes

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Retailing trendy clothing items either through an online platform or a physical store remains a resilient business idea. Identifying and supplying fashionable clothing can attract customers and drive sales. For online sales, this doesn’t require much; all you need is a good smartphone of about N100,000 to take pictures and upload them online. But if you want to sell offline, you can start with getting smaller second-hand clothing for about N100,000 and get a spot where you can stand at a bus stop to sell.


Laundry Business

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Although a laundry business can be capital-intensive, you can start small for your room. You can start it without a washing machine and acquire one as the business grows. All you need to establish a laundry business are a table and iron. With less than N50,000, you can set up a small laundry business.


Shawarma business

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Capitalising on the popularity of shawarma, particularly among the youth demographic, by establishing a shawarma stand presents a lucrative business opportunity. Offering tasty snacks to customers can yield significant returns. With about N150,000, one can start this. You have to acquire the shawarma machine for about N100,000 and get some hot dogs and other ingredients for about N20,000, depending on the quantity.


Internet Data Reselling

Best small businesses that need little or no capital

Procuring internet data in bulk from telecommunication companies and reselling it at competitive prices to customers offers a viable small business. Providing affordable internet access allows for tapping into the growing demand for connectivity. With N70,000 you can start this. All you need to do is get enough data from the service providers and start selling.


Declutter Agent


Facilitating the sale of unwanted items online for individuals can be a profitable venture. Acting as intermediaries between buyers and sellers and earning a commission on each sale provides avenues for revenue generation.


Drop Shipping


Drop shipping allows you to sell products online without holding any inventory. Once a customer places an order, you purchase the item from a third-party supplier who ships it directly to the customer. With minimal upfront investment, you can start an e-commerce business.


Drop Servicing


Similar to drop shipping, drop servicing involves selling services that are fulfilled by third-party providers. You act as the intermediary between the client and the service provider, managing client relationships while outsourcing the actual work.


Digital Marketing


Offering digital marketing services such as SEO, social media management, and online advertising can be a lucrative venture. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to enhance their online presence and reach more customers, creating demand for digital marketing expertise. You can learn more and pick up some premium course here


Social Media Marketing


Helping businesses grow their presence on social media platforms by creating and managing content can be a profitable business. With the rise of social media, companies are willing to invest in skilled marketers who can engage their audience effectively.


Video Editing


Providing video editing services to individuals and businesses can be a profitable venture, especially with the growing demand for video content across platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. All you need is a good computer and video editing software.


Information Marketing and Edusales


Selling information products like e-books, online courses, and webinars can be highly profitable. Sharing your expertise on a particular subject through digital products can generate passive income.


With the right idea and diligent effort, navigating the Nigerian business landscape can lead to financial success. By leveraging creativity, market demand, and a modest initial investment, individuals can embark on rewarding entrepreneurial journeys in Nigeria.


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Best small businesses that need little or no capital

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