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20+ Lucrative Small Scale Businesses in Nigeria

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Do you want to improve your finance? If you’re tired of exhausting your salary before the middle of the next month, then setting up a small scale business in Nigeria (especially),may be the way to go.

There is a great need to start a small scale business in Nigeria now, more than ever. And in fact, it doesn’t matter where you are, be it in Nigeria, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, or even in Dubai.

Everyone needs a stable source of income. And this could come in the form of augmenting your salary job by starting a small scale business. It could also mean you go into entrepreneurship full time.

There are bills to pay, and every day the bills to pay increase as well, there is a need to get extra and multiple sources of income.

What is a small scale business?

The Central bank of Nigeria states that a small scale business in Nigeria is one that has between 11 to 300 employees. This shows that most of the businesses in the country today are small scale businesses. (If a business employs 10 staff and below, it is considered a micro business).

A small scale business is one with small operating costs, low turnover, and few employees. Of course, I know the use of the word “small operating cost” is relative. As what is small to one, may mean everything to another.

Why start a small scale business in Nigeria?

Low startup cost

Starting a small scale business in Nigeria does not need heavy startup capital. There are small businesses you can start with as low as 15k. Indeed, some of them may not even need a startup capital per se, just your ability and knowledge may be enough.

State of the nation

With inflation biting hard, and unemployment ravaging, there is a need to start a business to sustain you and your family. This has become a necessity because one may not rely on the government to provide a job. In fact, those with government jobs are either underpaid or work in an unconducive environment. So starting a lucrative business in Nigeria with small capital from your savings may help you lead a better life.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Quite some people have an entrepreneurial spirit, so they thrive when doing business and taking risks. If these people find themselves in paid employment, they may become bored and want to get their hands on something challenging as soon as possible. If this is you, then, you may need to start a small business.

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Job insecurity

One of the reasons people are constantly looking out for ideas of the lucrative business in Nigeria is because of the daily loss of jobs. Machines are taking over various jobs, so companies are laying off staff. Banks, for instance, need fewer tellers/cashiers to operate because of ATM and POS devices.

This only leads to the loss of jobs. The financial state of affairs, also makes companies and businesses sack staff when in crisis. And this has led to the need to start a small business by lots of employed people, either before one gets fired, or after losing their job.


Some people prefer to do things their way. They love to make money and spend it at their speed. This kind of people prefers to start and run their small scale businesses. If this is you, you may start a lucrative business in Nigeria with small capital and be self-sufficient in no time.

Extra source of income

Of course, this list may not end without adding that an extra source of income is enough reason to start a side hustle. In fact, the average millionaire has at least seven businesses they run. So, having an extra source of income is a very important step to financial abundance. And starting a small scale business is the way to go.

Advantage of starting a Small scale business in Nigeria

One of the most important advantages of a small business in Nigeria or anywhere in the world is that your presence may not be needed 100 percent of the time. This means you can get someone to handle the day to day running, while your presence is only needed to monitor and give instructions.

This means you can spend a large chunk of your time doing other things that can be financially productive as well. So, in the end, it is a win-win for you. Just ensure you choose one of the most lucrative business in Nigeria and be persistent to make it works.

List of the lucrative business in Nigeria with small capital

The capital to start up these businesses varies. While some may require only mental knowledge, others may need up to a million naira to get started. However, it is important to note that startup capital doesn’t necessarily define the profit or feasibility of the business. Whatever the small scale business you want to choose, ensure to carry out proper market research and survey to know how feasible the business is.

Bakery business

If you know about baking, be it cakes, bread, cookies, etc. you may monetize it by setting up a small bakery. You want to ensure the quality of your product is high, so you can win customers and keep them. That is what will keep your business thriving. What if you don’t have this skill? Learn it.

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We have heard it for a very long time now, it seems this is the time, Nigeria is diversifying the economy -albeit slowly. As the nation moves toward a diversified economy, agriculture is thriving more than before -so farming is one of the best business in Nigeria at the moment. So, you can tap into this and make money for yourself.

There are lots of crops you can raise, and make money depending on the gestation period. You may raise Pumpkin (ugwu), pepper, tomato, and many more crops that may be ready for harvest in a few months.

Restaurant business

We all eat, but many people do not have time to cook. And lots of us like to eat quality but affordable food. People who are health conscious also prefer homemade food to fast food. So, if you are good in the kitchen, you may just monetize your skill. Ensure you locate your restaurant in a good location and keep the quality high, and the price very reasonable.

Recharge card business

Printing recharge cards is a lucrative business in Nigeria with small capital needed because although lots of people now recharge via USSD and their bank apps, most still recharge through vouchers. So, this business is still doing well. Depending on your choice, you may go into this business, because every day, people make calls, send texts via SMS and buy data, and all these are done with recharge vouchers.

Alternative power installation

Unfortunately, Nigeria is still suffering from erratic (epileptic) and irregular power supply. Many people are taking advantage of this to earn money by starting the business of installing alternative power for people. It could be Solar or inverter installation. You will make money.

Food processing industry

The first sight of this may get you uncomfortable because you’d expect that it requires lots of money to set up such a processing plant. But that’s not the case at all.

You may choose to go into:

  • Frozen food production, helping clients freeze their fish, meat, etc.
  • Processing palm oil,
  • Vegetable oil production,
  • Yogurt production,
  • Garri processing,
  • RIce milling,
  • Fruit juice production,
  • and many more.

Food processing is a lucrative business in Nigeria with small capital although the capital requirement depends on what you chose to process.

Dry cleaning business

A post on starting a small scale business in Nigeria will be incomplete without mentioning dry cleaning.

Nigerians love looking good, but most of us don’t have time to wash or iron our clothes -because of work, and some, because of their nails. This has made dry cleaning one of the most lucrative business in Nigeria.

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Starting a dry-cleaning business can help you utilize your skill if you love washing. In fact, the washing machine has helped simplify the work. This is one of the best business in Nigeria because you can use the power (from PHCN or Generator) to do other things, like sell cold drinks.

Bottled water production

People love drinking clean water, and people drink water every day. So, if you have the capital, you may start a bottled water drinking factory. You may supply to events, befriends with event planners to provide water for their events. The need to drink clean water and the scorching daily heat has made this one of the most lucrative business in Nigeria.

Daycare center

If you can babysit, and have a passion for kids, this may be for you. No many startup costs required. You must ensure your clients are happy leaving their kids, with you. That way rest assured you’d remain in business.

Uniform sewing

If you have tailoring skills, you may meet with organizations, schools, and businesses to help sew clothes for their student, staff, events, etc.

Exportation of agricultural produce

You may need to register with the export council of Nigeria before going into this. The things you can export include cocoa yam, yam, groundnut, yam flour, cashew nuts, mango, chili pepper, etc.


It is no news Nigeria is rich in minerals. You can take advantage of this by mining some of the minerals or helping in the transportation of these minerals. Some of the minerals that the country is especially rich in are

  • coal,
  • iron ore,
  • limestone,
  • bitumen,
  • and others

However, you must ensure you are properly licensed where need be.

Livestock farming

Livestock farming is very good, and maybe the best business in Nigeria. We love meats, whether at home or at events. Some of the specific areas you can focus on are:

  • Catfish farming,
  • Poultry farming,
  • Cattle grazing,
  • Goat rearing,
  • Snail farming, And many others.

Other lucrative Small scale business in Nigeria include

  • Recruitment agency
  • Call center agency
  • A writing company (at moneystry, we help businesses, both in Nigeria and abroad with their writing jobs, and we can teach you how to earn from it. Contact us if you want to learn how to render this service)
  • Importation of clothes
  • Waste management
  • Training center (maybe education, car driving center, etc.)
  • Snack making
  • Photography

So, there you have it. If you’re planning to set up a Small scale business in Nigeria, which of the above will you go for and why? Share your ideas and opinions with us using the comment area below.


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