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Business Ideas

Top 20 Lucrative Small Businesses In Nigeria

In this article, I will review the Top 20 lucrative small businesses In Nigeria. Anyone can start any of these business and make substantial income from them.

It is no longer news that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is alarming. Every year, a large number of fresh graduates await employment in the labour market which has been grossly inefficient at meeting this demand. A brief but thorough check on the streets will reveal many frustrated young people who loiter about seeking for a means of livelihood.

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Some have been frustrated into evil social vices; others have given in to hopelessness while the strongest of them trudge on. Unknown to many, there are several lucrative small businesses (I mean businesses that can be done on a small scale and are less capital intensive) whose return of investments are high.

Top 20 Lucrative Small Businesses In Nigeria
Image Source: africadata.com

I am not saying these businesses are without challenges and guarantee hundred per cent return of investments, I am only trying to imply that with the right factors, dedication and consistence, an investment in any of the businesses below will yield good profit that may enable expansion and a better standard of living.

Most lucrative small businesses in Nigeria are commonly operated in the streets. This means that you will be dealing with a lot of competition but that shouldn’t deter you, you will only need to focus on making your business or brand unique in a way that it stands out among competitors.

You can search the Information Guide in Nigeria site for tips on how to start up and maintain a unique brand or business that will survive cut throat (stiff necked) competition. For those willingly to give it a try, I will suggest that they equip themselves with the right information by carrying out research, examine the commercial feasibility, market status and potential growth of the business they are interested in. I will list twenty small scale businesses in no particular order that Nigerians can invest in with the assurance for profit making, continuity and expansion.



Poultry is a major source of protein supply in Nigeria. The amount of protein needed to maintain a healthy a life style is easily gotten from products of poultry farm which are very affordable. This means that the demand for poultry products is constantly very high. E

ggs are used massively every day for production of bread which is a staple food for man, pastries, soap and other consumables. Birds are also consumed in large quantities every day in homes by fast foods, restaurants, bukas and every commercial eatery.

Starting poultry is not capital intensive as misunderstood by many, except you are planning to start on a very large scale; you don’t need so much capital. People raise birds at empty spaces behind their living homes before moving to arable lands as their business begin to expand. Find out ‘how to start a poultry farm and how profitable poultry business for detailed information.

2. FISH Farming:

The demand for sea food in Nigeria is high and the proceeds from the sea are unable to cater for this demand. A large percentage of fish consumed daily by Nigerians is imported on a regular basis.

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Starting a fish farm is fruitful venture as long as the right procedures are carried out; you need to construct fish ponds, a stable supply of water and proper drainage system before acquiring your fingerlings which you will feed and nurse to become matured fish for sale.

Like I mentioned earlier, you only need to get the process right because capital without proper information will lead to a loss. If you have ample space around you, make good use of it by considering a fishery. Find out ‘how to start a fish farm and the profitability of a fish farm’ on this site.


This is quite easy to start up because it requires little cost on food and shelter. Snails reproduce at a fast rate and do not constitute environmental nuisance in form of foul odour or noise.

There is also a good demand for snails as they are part of many traditional delicacies in different regions of Nigeria. Read: How to Start Snail Farming Business in Nigeria


One of the best things to do with an unused piece of land is the rearing of crops. I have always believed that most times, everything you need to enrich you lies around if you are willingly to look closely then take risks by implementing diverse ideas.

There are many crops that can be farmed for commercial purposes. It can be cassava which can be processed into garri, flour and fufu, yams, maize and vegetables.

Rice farming is also a fruitful venture because rice is a staple food consumed daily in massive quantities in Nigeria. Agriculture generally is a fruitful sector that’s has been left untapped by Nigerians and her government.

I recommend investing in agriculture because it is fruitful, employs labour and supply’s food which is a basic need for man’s survival. An agricultural investment properly managed can never go wrong.

See Also: 5 Roles of Agriculture in Nigeria’s Economy


Commonly known as bukas in Nigeria, roadside restaurants are very lucrative. Although it is strenuous to run, the return of investments is relatively high.

Food is one of man’s most essential commodities; without which he cannot survive. Roadside food vendors and restaurants offer services that are very affordable and satisfactory as compared to fast foods and fine dining restaurants.

As long as you can manage the stress with few helping hands, running this business is something you won’t regret.

See: How to Start Up a Restaurant Business in Nigeria


The business of catering involves providing refreshments in form of food and drinks to estimated guests at events on contract basis.

Catering is a lucrative business if handled with expertise and professionalism. If a caterer is able to come up with tasty, appetizing meals prepared under hygienic conditions and delivered timely, he or she has succeeded in building a good reputation and at this instance; clients will be willing to pay for your services even at a high cost.

See Also: How Profitable is Bakery Business in Nigeria?


A car wash, is another business that can be run very little capital, apart from water and car washing materials and maybe a few hands to help, you won’t need much for a start.

Your ability to make profits will depend on your accessibility and how good your services are.

See: How to Start Car Wash Business in Nigeria


To run a laundry service, you will need a reliable source of electricity supply and other equipment like a wash machine, drier and pressing irons.

The ability to satisfy your clients will determine how much profits you can turn in.

Read more: How to Start a Laundry Business in Nigeria


This is another booming business that needs to be exploited. Producing soap locally for laundry and dish washing is a fast selling venture.

Armed with the right knowledge, equipment, excellent packaging and strategic marketing, this business will record massive success.

Read Also: 13 Steps to Produce Liquid Soup in Nigeria for Sale and Domestic Use


We all desire to look good and presentable to the best of our abilities and this is a reason why the fashion industry keeps evolving.

Anyone who is skilled in the art of hair dressing, hair barbing and make up is encouraged to make the best of it by setting up a beauty studio. Improve your skills, be creative, flow with trends and watch your business bloom to its peak.

Read Also: How to Start A Barbing Salon Business in Nigeria


This is a big industry with enough room for new and talented hands. If you can sew properly and can come up with your own designs, you may not be needing employment from the government or private sector.

Set up your own fashion house or shop, start small and continue to invent. Prominent fashion brands in Nigeria like Mai Atafo, Tesslo concepts, Deola Sagoe and Tiffanny Amber are employers of labour who began small but have become first liners in Nigerian fashion industry.

See: Top 10 Skills in High Demand in Nigeria Currently


There is a big market for second hand clothes in Nigeria, good quality second items like clothes, shoes, bed sheets, curtains are high in demand.

If you have access to a supplier who guarantees a supply of good quality second hand items, you give it a try by starting with a bale or two and expanding as profits come in.


Many people require the services of an event planner in planning their events to avoid exhaustion and a poorly co-ordinated and embarrassing events.

Event planners are well paid to oversee the activities of an event from start to finish. All you need to operate as an event planner is information, contacts and expertise.


In areas where power supply is too erratic, you can supply ice blocks to people who sell pure water, soft drinks and other refreshing drinks that need chilling on a daily basis.

Ice block is formed by filling polythene bags or shaped containers with clean water and leaving them to freeze in refrigerators.

Read more: How to Setup Ice Block Making Business in Nigeria

15. TUTORING: young graduates can put their knowledge to use by tutoring privately. Many parents are in search of private tutors to coach their children and wards in different subjects and arts like acting, dancing, singing and creative writing.

If you have a passion for instilling knowledge on children and teenagers, you can live your passion while making good money off it.


To run this business, you will need capital to acquire canopies, chairs and drums used in chilling drinks at events. The good thing however is that you can operate from your home and acquisition of materials for rentals is not done on a very frequent basis.


Firewood is used in cooking large quantities of food because it is faster, cheaper and saves time. Supplying firewood to caterers or owners of restaurants on a daily or weekly basis leaves you with good profit and enough capital to keep the business running.


Making of snacks like puff,puff, bread, cake, meat pie etc alongside cocktail drinks like zobo and pineapple drink for sale in strategic areas like schools, offices or other public places leaves you with a good sum every day.

See: How to Start Snacks Selling Business in Nigeria


Most workers especially in the private sector are always preoccupied with work and have very little or no time to shop for their basic needs.

You can decide to find out what this needs are and supply to them at very fair prices that will keep them loyal and glued to you.


Very common among Nigerian youths today, website designing and other technical services are rendered to those in need at sometimes far prices and exorbitant prices, depending on the need at hand.

This business requires mostly knowledge as it involves technological know-how. If you are armed with this skill, get online and find those in need of your services and render them.

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Lami Ogar

Lami is from cross river state and holds a B.sc in accounting from a Nigerian university. Writing for her is a form of detoxification, she has written several articles for Essence magazine and runs political commentary on twitter. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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