Top 20 Lucrative Business Ideas in Nigeria for 2018

Are you looking for lucrative and profitable business ideas in Nigeria ideas? If YES, here are some top notch and comfortable business ideas and investment opportunities you can capitalize on and make massive profits in just a very little period of its establishment. Do you need a sample business proposal for a viable small scale business in this economic recession?

There are several lucrative business ideas in Nigeria ranging from agricultural business ideas to real estate investment opportunities. These two opportunities mentioned, top the list of thriving businesses considering today’s economy.

Do you want to start a lucrative business with small capital? Then you should look through my list of farming business opportunities too. You do not need to be disturbed with the issue of high capital startup as this article contain many businesses with low startup cost that can be started in Nigeria today.


The reason foreigners still flood Nigeria not minding the myriads of challenges facing the country is because they can see what even citizens are blind to – fast growing business opportunities.


A lot of Nigerians are not aware that any challenge around them provides an avenue to generate opportunities for investment. Your capacity to provide solutions to public problems especially in a developing country like ours is a key to financial breakthrough.


If you decide that you want to own a small scale business in Nigeria, you are probably very excited about entering the world of commerce with something you can call your own. Perhaps you want to supplement your salary or you are only looking for ways to earn additional money.

You can start a small scale business today with so many tools available to you than it was in past times.

Why Small-Scale Business?

There are a number of reasons that many people choose to think about owning a business on a small scale. There certainly are lifestyle justifications for such a decision. Here are a few of the most common:

• The stress of managing employees: you never have to worry about meeting payroll commitments.

• Required record keeping can be less intimidating without having to worry about employee liability, workman’s compensation, taxes etc.

• A smaller business can be set up with far simpler structures that are available to large businesses. Some people in Nigeria just decide that they want to run their business as a “sole proprietor,” while others choose to establish a single owner limited liability company (L.L.C.). Both options have fewer restrictions than registering as one of the several types of corporations.

In most cases, a small scale business requires less startup capital and will have lower operating costs in the beginning.

In this article, I want to share with you some various small scale business ideas in Nigeria. There are many small businesses that you can do on a full-time or part-time basis.

Starting a Small Business in Nigeria

What business can I do in Nigeria to make profit with little capital?
Starting a lucrative small business in Nigeria with small capital and growing it into success requires lots of dedication, determination and careful planning. In my previous posts, I have highlighted how to start a profitable small business in Nigeria.

If you research into the startup stories of many big companies today, you would discover that many of them started from the scratch faced with several challenges.

As an entrepreneur who is on the Mission to venture into a business or better still, want to extend his wing and enlarge his business coast, here are a few outdoor and home business ideas in Nigeria that doesn’t required you much analysis on the legal requirements, or the market feasibility and all other vital things it takes to kick start a business in your locality.

Although, entrepreneurs couldn’t help but complain about the heavy taxes and other levies they are subjected to pay, but yet, it is on the contrary better than running a business in other part of the world. The gap is very wide.So what are the best businesses to do in Nigeria today?

Everyday, many Nigerians search for small investment opportunities to start with no money. They keep looking for lucrative business in Nigeria with small capital. Do you have little money but no feasible business idea to start with? The truth is there are many business opportunities available for investment.

Whether you are planning to start up a Nigerian business ideas already adapted to this economic climate or looking for franchises to buy, in this post, I will be revealing the most profitable small business and lucrative investment ideas. Dedication, putting in extra efforts and partnering with the right set of people are some key secret of successful business that moves fast in Nigeria. Do you know there are good business ideas for students in Nigeria for secondary and university levels?

Business Ideas in Nigeria – Small Opportunities

1. ==> Security: Setting up a security firm is a profitable business. Nigerians have come to understand that the preservation of their lives and property is a personal responsibility. This is the reason people set up security outfits with the sole purpose of supplying:

  • security personnel to man estates
  • private bodyguards for celebrities and the rich
  • security guards for banks and big companies
  • security men for events

2. ==> Building Materials: Buying and selling cement and other building materials such as tiles, WC bowls, roofing sheets among others, is a very lucrative business. If you doubt me, look at the rate at which new buildings spring up across the country on a daily basis.

I have two colleagues who are currently making millions from this profitable enterprise. You can’t talk about thriving businesses in this economy without making reference to the booming business of buying and selling building materials.

3. ==> Real Estate Business: One way to become rich within a very short time is to go into the business of land and property sales. This business of buying and selling land and houses is a money spinner I will always recommend to people who have the capital required.

A lot of people just pile up money in bank accounts without any move towards entrepreneurship. Real estate investment is capital intensive but you can go into partnership to build low and medium-cost accommodation units, student hostels, hotels, shopping malls and event center. This opportunity is one of the easiest ways to make it big from one of man’s basic need, ‘shelter’.

4. ==> Restaurant Business: Canteen business is another hot business that moves fast right now. This good business makes a lot of money on a daily basis considering the fact that food is not a luxury. If you get your business location right, and you have the necessary skills, you will generate wealth from this hot food business idea.

Restaurant business in Nigeria doesn’t run out of sales. If you are a great cook and wouldn’t mind to start a business, why don’t you start a restaurant business this once.

Mind you, you will need to carry out some necessary steps before you can actually start the business.

Steps like looking for a commercial location that will aid people to easily patronize your business, registering and doing some paperwork to obtain license from NAFDAC so that you wouldn’t be disturbed by the government or its agency.

5. ==> Internet Business: A lot of people including students, make millions monthly from the internet legitimately. Talk of prominent bloggers like Abe of practical business ideas and giant eCommerce stores like Konga and Jumia. Online business is one of the most profitable small scale business today that Nigerian students and youth make money from.

Tapping into the huge population, one of Nigeria’s greatest asset; a lot of web entrepreneurs make cool dollars offering online services such as affiliate marketing, information marketing, Bulk SMS services, payment exchange, web design and development, SEO among others.

6. ==> Small Scale Manufacturing: Do you need profitable businesses a woman can do at home in Nigeria? Production of cosmetics and fashion accessories is one. After searching for job fruitlessly, many graduates discover solid wealth in the production of toothpick, chalk, candle, soap, shampoo, paint, air freshener, bleach, insecticide, and other household items. Even as a salary earner, these are businesses you can start after you close from work.

It is worth noting that, though you can start the manufacture of some of these products with as little capital as N5000, your success hinges on how effective your packaging and marketing is. Believe me, this is one of the thriving home businesses for now.

7. ==> Livestock Farming: Raising livestock for money is a sure floodgate to riches. Poultry farming and fish farming business top the list of profitable farming ventures. This may be due to the recent ban on the importation of frozen fish and poultry products by the Federal government. Consequently local supply cannot meet up with the demand for these products.


Pig, goat, rabbit, snail, cattle and grasscutter farming are other areas of livestock business you can invest in.

8. ==> Recruitment Firm: Nigeria currently has over five million unemployed youth and a teeming population of new graduates join them year in year out.

Many companies of are not ready to go through the stress of recruitment, neither are they interested in the cost associated with having permanent staff on their payroll. As a result, supplying contract staff to these companies is now a big business. You may also go into related ventures such providing CV rewriting and staff training services.

9. ==> Transport And Haulage Business: For people who can create the time to oversee this business, transportation by land, air, water or rail is a money spinner. If you research well, you’ll discover that most investors recover their initial capital within a short time.

The use of sound, fuel-efficient vehicles and getting reliable drivers is key to the success of a haulage business. Although it is management-intensive, haulage of goods and petroleum businesses a good business idea. What some people do is that they buy a sound truck and contract it to a haulage and logistics company for weekly or monthly returns.

10. ==> Plantation Farming Plantation farming is definitely one of the best crop farming opportunities because of the steady income that it generates for many farmers. Today, there are several money-making cash crops that you can produce and sell on a yearly basis.

If you are thinking of starting a plantation farm, you’ll need to buy a farmland that is accessible and start the cultivation of plantain, cocoa, cassava, oil palm, kola nut and other crops.

11. ==> Spare Parts Importation: With the right connection, one of the best businesses to start in Nigeria is importing cars and spare parts in containers. The quality of roads and poor maintenance culture ensure that your business keeps moving as a lot of people have reasons to replace a bad part of their vehicle periodically.


Note that Dollar exchange rates can affect this easy-to-start business.

12. ==> Starting a Private School: Setting up a premium, high-grade nursery and primary school is another profitable business idea. A lot of people find it comfortable sending their wards to privately-owned primary and secondary schools as opposed to government schools for obvious reasons.

13. ==> Dry Cleaning Business: If you live in an elite environment, you can start a dry cleaning business. Try to keep your rates on the low side and be sure that the quality of your work is superb. These will guarantee your reasons to smile to the bank every week.

12. ==> Sales of Kerosene: Are you looking for lucrative business ideas with low investment? One way to make cool money in oil and gas is to go into the business of retailing kerosene. The epileptic power supply in the country make Kerosene an important energy source for many homes. As result, Kerosene suppliers who play their cards right can easily grow their businesses into multi-million Naira ventures. Kerosene is one product that sells fast even without advertisement.

13. ==> Importation of Second Hand (Okrika) Shoes and Bags: In Nigeria, there is a popular belief that used materials last longer than new ones. Besides, the economic climate forces people to patronize the cheapest options for their basic amenities. Although government policy does not favor most importation businesses any longer, you are sure of recouping your investment from this fast-growing business within a short time. Sales of Okrika wears is a lucrative business idea in Nigeria with small capital.

14. ==> Car Wash BusinessIf you are an entrepreneur with limited funds, you can venture into this side business idea in Nigeria and make money for yourself. The possibility of making good money is high because most car owners don’t have the time and energy to wash their cars. They prefer visiting a car wash center to get their car washed while chilling with drinks and watch TV.

What you need to start this business is to get a good location for the business, good washing equipment, car wash detergent and the manpower to make work faster so customers won’t be waiting for long.

Location is key to the success of this thriving business. If you can get a place in your town that is conspicuous and usually busy, it is a good site for starting a car wash. Care wash is one of the businesses with high returns. You can start adding other ventures to this simple viable business as it expands.

15. ==> Sachet Water Production and Distribution: Do you have enough capital? You can go into the production of sachet water by setting up a manufacturing plant. The major challenge is getting your marketing right, reducing the cost of power and ensuring that quality does not diminish over time. Another low investment side to this business is selling the bags and sachets directly to consumers. Retailing pure water is one low-cost business to start with 10000 Naira or less.

16. ==> Coaching Business: If you are knowledgeable in a particular field of study, you can become a coach. It is a two-way thing; you can choose to become a certified coach so you can host paid seminars and issue a certificate to the participants.  You can also decide to coach people in your home or office.

Starting a coaching business is a very low-cost business idea. Education has never at any time experience recession and this is where you belong as a coach in your niche.

If you are knowledgeable and can produce results for your clients, you can earn good amount of money from this small-scale business. The areas where coaches are earning big sum of money in Nigeria are in the areas of business coaching, personal finance, investing, relationship, marriage, weight loss, and branding.

If you are good in any of the fields I mentioned above, then you can begin to get yourself prepared to rake in enough money this year.

17. ==>  Hobby Center: One small-scale business in Nigeria you can venture into is the business of operating a hobby center. You can open a hobby center where you offer different courses like ballet dance, music class, drama, making of crafts etc.

You need to have sound and practical knowledge of all these skills to be successful in this business. You can choose to hire an assistant just in case the number of students becomes too much for one person to handle.

18. ==> Outdoor Catering Services: The demand for outdoor catering services will continue to increase as far as people continue to host outdoor events like marriage reception, birthday parties, burial ceremonies, get-together etc. This is a lucrative business because no matter what, people must eat and drink in any outdoor event.

19. ==>  Rental Services: This is another lucrative small-scale business idea in Nigeria. This business does not involve any much advertising at all. There will always be a ceremony and you know people don’t buy this equipment, they always rent.

If you want to check if this business is productive, you can ask people that already into the business for them to tell themselves. The only challenge in this business is that it involves a large amount of money to start.

You have to buy lots of plastic chairs, canopies, tables and also a vehicle that will help transport the properties to the venue where it is needed.

20. ==> Fashion Designing or Tailoring: This is also another lucrative business in Nigeria that is small scale. You will need sewing experience first. That means you will have to be trained by a professional as a fashion designer before you can boldly go and open your own store.

Have it in mind that you will also need money for your freedom, buying of your own sewing machine, register with fashion designers association nearest to you, and renting of your store.
Between one to two years of running your business, you will start making your money as you begin to build a lasting relationship with existing and new customers.

21. ==> Mini Supermarket: If you have love trading from the beginning, you can open a mini supermarket in your location or any good location of your choice and begin your business. This business is more like a provision store but it is more advanced because you stock almost everything your customers will ever ask for.

You can be selling stationery products to anything you need are always on sale in a mini supermarket. There is a woman in my area who has this kind of business. There is no time you won’t see someone buying something from her mini market.

Today, she has bought a car from the income she saved from the business. You too can! This is one of the best businesses to do in Nigeria right now

22. ==>  Bakery Business: One best business idea is in the food business. You can specialize in the bakery business and be popularly known for it. You can be baking cake, bread, meat pie and others to sell in either wholesale or retail packages.

Baking all sorts of flour foods for money is a safe business you can invest on in Nigeria and earn a lot of profit hitch-free.

Ensure you gather all the necessary information that requires you to have before venturing into the business. Meet with those that are making it in the bakery industry for other things you will be in need of along the line.

In case you don’t have the experience and what it means to bake, you can invest on the business and find someone to look after it, or better still, you can go to a school where bakery services are being offered.

Your products need to be unique to achieve success in these business ideas in Nigeria. Your customers are school students, your neighbors, children department in church and everybody having the taste for wheat food.

23. ==> Raw Food Stuff Store: Raw food stuff store is a profitable business that can cash in good returns on your investment. Food stuff like rice, beans, wheat, semolina, Garri and host of others are what is expected to be sold inside the store. Obviously, unlike Nigeria foreign counterparts, more than half of Nigerians prefer eating homemade foods to fast foods. Hence, your chance to succeed in this business is very high.

24. ==> Haulage and Logistics Business: This business has proven itself over time to be lucrative. Companies need to move their products from their storehouses to where they are needed. You can seize this opportunity and be the problem solver by venturing into haulage and logistics business. Before you start, it is ideal you determine whether the business will only be rendering inter-state service or just intra-state shuttle service.

25. ==> Cosmetics Business: If you have passion for beauty, then starting a cosmetics business is one of that can liberate you financially. To do really well in cosmetic business, it’s advisable you be thorough with your market research. This is important because you will learn new things about the business (i.e. cosmetics industry) and customers that will help run and grow your business.

26. ==> Tailoring Business: If you are the type that has an eye for fashion, you can delve into tailoring business as it is one profitable fashion business in Nigeria. Have it in mind that you need the necessary skill and knowledge of the business before venturing into it. You should first go and learn from a successful tailor. You are not just there to learn the skill but to learn the business aspect of it too.

27. ==> Clothing Store or Boutique Business: The boutique industry is made up of retail stores- small, medium or big that sell limited range and variety of clothing and accessories. This business idea is profitable and reliable. In spite of the hardship, high dollar to naira exchange rate and economy crunch, people must look good. You can however capitalize on this and start a boutique business.

28. ==> Farming and other Agriculture Business: Apparently, the federal government of Nigeria is putting in her best to diversify into agriculture and as a result of this, farming and other agricultural related businesses cannot be over emphasized, today.

If you are the type interested in investing in a commercial farming business, then you could kick start any agriculture related business in Nigeria. Doing this business, your chance of  a steady income year round is very high.

Agricultural business like poultry rearing (of different species of birds), fish farming, cattle rearing, crops farming amongst other are business ideas that can be ventured into by anyone irrespective of your state or position.

Starting a poultry farm or a fish farm might appear very simple and easy to you but venturing into it as a business is something totally different. This implies that you are not only a fish or poultry farmer but also an entrepreneur with the needed skills to survive the market out there.

Practical Steps To Doing Business In Nigeria

Before you start doing business in Nigeria, its essential for you to be careful when putting down your cash. While there are many business ideas you can consider, understand that without doing proper investigation on them, you could lose all.

Here are some practical tips when attempting to start a business in Nigeria:

Real Estate business is a wise investment decision for any individual who is planning to do business in Nigeria. It is particularly booming in today’s economy when we consider that the recession has not really impacted much on it like it as affected other commercial enterprises. Nigeria is often faced with difficulties of providing housing to her teeming population. The value of land and housing properties continue to increase in value. This indicates that in the event that you have the capital to start this business, with the right tips you will do well.

Nonetheless, you need to know that this kind of investment requires huge capital. Doing business in Nigeria also needs a lot of planning and know-how. You may consider partnering with other investors with similar interests in order increase your startup capital.

Stock market is a venture that many Nigerians subscribe to. Sadly, in the last few years, a lot of people are avoiding it. This is a direct result of the recent losses suffered by stock investors.

On the other hand, there are still some incredible open doors for you to profit in doing business in Nigeria. At the same time before you take any risk, do your business survey and get consultancy services. There is so much to learn in doing business in Nigeria and without an expert at your side, you can easily end up bankrupt.

Another lucrative opportunity for doing business in Nigeria is Forex exchanging. The remote trade business involves exchanging Naira for Dollar, Euro, GBP and other foreign currencies.

Case in point, you put resources into foreign currency, for example, the Dollar or the Euro. At the point when one value goes down and alternate goes up, you could make an exchange and make profit from the exchange. In doing this business, there are risk attached, however you could be successful by doing research on the nations and following business news.

The above are only three ventures out the the numerous ideas for businesses in Nigeria. Each one of them has it advantages and risks.

How do you know which investment to choose in doing business in Nigeria? You essentially need to ask yourself a couple of questions . One is to what extent would you be able to tie up your capital? The second one is what is the size of capital you are eager to risk? Taking all these into account, individuals who make true riches don’t search for fast money. If you invest wisely in real estate, forex or stock exchange, you are certain of huge returns.

Challenges of Doing Business in Nigeria

1. Absence of Infrastructure
2. Poor Power Supply
3. Deficient Security
4. Conflicting Government Policies
5. Transportation Challenges
6. Inability to Raise Capital
7. Absence of Governmental Support

Taking everything into account, this is a list of challenges that will have to confront when starting a business in Nigeria. I highlighted these difficulties not to demoralize you but to help you plan ahead of time in light of the fact that he who is ready, has half won the fight.



The business ideas discussed above are reliable businesses that are worth your investment. Therefore, take your time to pick one or two you are interested in and set out. Also, remember that this list is not exhaustive as there are many other small businesses that are open to investment for any serious entrepreneur in Nigeria.

This compilation is a list of small-scale businesses in Nigeria that will help stimulate your entrepreneurial spirit. Well, I’m not trying to force on you the best business to do, but rather providing as many options of viable businesses as possible for you to choose from.

If you are already in any of these investment ideas or making plans for starting one, why don’t you share your views or ask a question using the comment box below?

I believe you care about others so let them benefit from these new small scale business ideas in Nigeria, Show some love, share this post.

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