The challenging economic conditions and the entrepreneurial spirit amongst Nigerians have pushed many to consider establishing their businesses as a path toward financial independence. Yet, venturing into the world of entrepreneurship demands a significant financial investment which often poses a significant obstacle.
Thankfully, there are opportunities to establish cost-effective businesses with promising prospects. These options offer a strategic entrance into entrepreneurship that minimizes risk while maximizing the profit potential.
This article seeks to explore some of the cheapest businesses to start in Nigeria in the year 2024. This resource is not only a collection of cost-effective ventures but is also packed with practical business tips for budding and aspiring Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Buckle up and delve into the opportunities the future holds with these cheapest businesses to start in Nigeria.
Get ready to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey with a clearer perspective and renewed confidence with this awesome list from TransferXO!
30 Cheapest Businesses to Start in Nigeria in 2024
In 2024, starting a cheap business in Nigeria can be a feasible plan with abundant possibilities. Given the country’s growing economy and a considerable young demographic, Nigeria offers numerous low-capital business opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, retail, services, and tech.
These businesses not only require less upfront capital but can also provide stable income once established.
By carefully assessing local market needs and leveraging digital platforms for reach and engagement, budding entrepreneurs can successfully venture into affordable business operations in Nigeria in 2024.
You can also explore other businesses to start when you have a higher budget like 500k through this article; 17 Profitable Business to Start with 500k in Nigeria.
Cheapest Online Businesses to Start in Nigeria
Starting an online business is a lucrative and fast-growing trend not just in Nigeria, but globally. In Nigeria, the potential for online businesses is especially immense due to the country’s large and digitally active population.
What’s more, you don’t have to break the bank to start a digital venture. Here are some of the cheapest online businesses to start in Nigeria:
1. Crypto Trading
Crypto trading has emerged as one of the most economical businesses to kick-start in Nigeria due to low initial investment requirements. This decentralized market lets traders exchange digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. based on market value, thereby offering promising returns.
TransferXO, an online platform, has notably paved its way to be the preferred platform for crypto trading in Nigeria. It provides an easy-to-use, reliable, and secure space for conducting digital transactions with features like low transaction fees, fast settlements, and comprehensive customer support.
Given its vast market potential and advancements like TransferXO, crypto trading is undoubtedly the cheapest business to start in Nigeria.
If 100k is below your budget, you can explore this article on 35 Profitable Businesses to Start with 300k in Nigeria
Starting a blogging business in Nigeria is a cheap yet effective way to make money. It involves sharing insights, ideas, or opinions about different topics through a website.
The startup cost for this type of business is minimal as it primarily involves purchasing a domain name and web hosting service, which is inexpensive in Nigeria.
To start making a profit, bloggers need to attract a good number of visitors to their blogs. They can monetize their blog through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, selling products, or offering services.
A good understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) would be an added advantage to drive traffic to the blog.
Explore this article 35 Profitable Businesses to Start with 700k in Nigeria if you’re aiming for a higher budget to start a business in Nigeria.
3. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is another cost-effective business to start in Nigeria. This entails offering writing services to clients on a contract basis. There are different niches to specialize in, such as SEO writing, copywriting, blog writing, technical writing, and many more. It is a business that requires low startup costs; all you need is a computer and internet connection.
Additionally, enhancing your writing skills through continuous learning and training is necessary. There are platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer where you can advertise your services and secure gigs. Earning capacity is determined by the quality of writing, turnaround time, and customer satisfaction.
4. Social Media Management
Starting a social media management business is a low-cost venture in Nigeria, perfect for those with expertise in managing various social media platforms.
This business involves managing the online presence of various companies through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, by creating engaging content, promoting products, and responding to customer inquiries.
The initial costs are minimal, only requiring a good internet connection, computer, and social media management software.
One of the advantages of this business is the high demand for digital marketers in today’s internet-dependent world. Plus, social media management can be run from home, saving the costs related to renting an office space.
You can also explore other businesses to start when you have a higher budget like 500k and above through this article; 35 Profitable Businesses to Start With 1 Million Naira in Nigeria.
5. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another low-cost business that can be started in Nigeria. This is a performance-based business where affiliates earn a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products.
The affiliate marketer simply searches for a product they like, promotes that product, and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make.
Startup costs are relatively low, needing only a functional computer, stable internet, and initial funds to set up a website or blog for product promotion.
Affiliate marketing provides the advantage of passive income and flexible work hours, making it a favorable business choice for many Nigerians.
Dropshipping is a lucrative business to start in Nigeria that requires minimal capital investment. It is an e-commerce model in which the entrepreneur acts as an intermediary between the manufacturer and the consumer.
When a customer purchases from your online store, you order the product from the manufacturer who then ships it directly to the customer.
You make your profit from the difference between your sale price and the manufacturer’s price. Key advantages include the absence of inventory and reduced risk, making it a cost-effective choice for startups.
All you need to begin is a reliable internet connection, a computer, and a website or an account on a digital platform like Amazon or Shopify.
7. Online Tutoring
The digital revolution has made it possible to provide educational services online. Starting an online tutoring business in Nigeria is not only low-cost but also very profitable.
Knowledge is a valuable asset and you can monetize your skills by offering classes or one-on-one tutoring sessions in various subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Music, Programming, and so on.
You can create video content for paid downloads or offer real-time sessions using platforms like Skype or Zoom.
The minimal start-up requirements include a computer or smartphone, a stable internet connection, and proficient knowledge in your chosen field.
Additionally, the flexibility of the job and the satisfaction of aiding someone’s academic growth are remarkable perks.
8. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a fast-rising and inexpensive business you can start in Nigeria. As more businesses move online, the demand for digital marketing skills such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content creation, and social media management is growing.
The initial cost to set up a digital marketing agency is relatively low as all you need is a good internet connection and a working laptop.
What’s more important is your ability to deliver effective strategies and understand the algorithms of various online platforms.
With a broad understanding of digital marketing trends and client’s needs, this venture could turn profitable in a short while.
9. Virtual Assistant Services
A Virtual Assistant Service business is another affordable business to kick-start in Nigeria. Virtual assistants work remotely with customers to provide administrative, technical, and creative assistance.
Given the increasing number of entrepreneurs and businesses outsourcing these tasks, it’s a field with huge growth potential.
Start-up costs are minimal, requiring only a reliable internet connection, a good computer, and effective communication tools.
Skill sets such as administrative know-how, data analysis, content creation, and digital marketing can make one a sought-after virtual assistant. More so, being proactive, reliable, and possessing strong organizational skills can set you apart in this competitive field.
10. Graphic Design
Graphic design is an extremely cost-effective business to start in Nigeria. With just a laptop, the necessary design software, and a good internet connection, one can kick-start a promising career in graphic design. Nigeria, being a business hub with a robust SME industry, provides immense opportunities for graphic designers.
Whether it is designing logos for new businesses or creating engaging social media content, the demand for graphic design services is steadily on the rise. With continuous learning, creativity, and attention to detail, you can build a successful career as a graphic designer in Nigeria. Moreover, the flexibility to work from anywhere makes it an attractive entrepreneurial pursuit with minimum startup cost.
Cheapest Offline Businesses to Start in Nigeria
Starting a business can be quite challenging, especially if you do not have a large capital. However, there are some inexpensive offline businesses that one can venture into in Nigeria with low capital.
These businesses do not necessarily require you to own a big office or have many employees. They are simple, yet profitable businesses.
Here are a few offline businesses you can start in Nigeria with low capital:
11. Phone & Accessories Charging Business
Starting a phone and accessories charging business in Nigeria is quite cheap and potentially lucrative, especially in areas with unreliable electricity.
Many Nigerians struggle with constant power outages, leading to a high demand for places where they can charge their devices.
The initial cost of this business is mainly for purchasing a reliable generator and charging accessories, making it an affordable startup.
A keen eye for safe storage locations and customer-friendly service will be crucial. Since almost everyone owns a mobile device, this business will likely attract a significant customer base.
12. Food Vendor Business
A food vendor business is one of the cheapest and most lucrative businesses to start in Nigeria. With an estimated population of over 200 million, there is always a high demand for affordable and convenient food.
This business mainly involves the preparation and selling of meals, often served street-style or at designated areas.
You only need basic cooking equipment and ingredients to get started. Understanding local food preferences and offering consistent, quality meals is key to succeeding in this line of business.
Food hygiene should also be a top priority, as it affects both the health of customers and the business’s reputation.
13. Fruit Juice Sales and Production
Venturing into the fruit juice sales and production business in Nigeria can be highly rewarding as it is one of the cheapest businesses to start.
With the abundance of different fruit types available, there is no limit to the types of juices that can be produced.
This business requires minimum start-up capital, you can begin on a small scale, right from your kitchen.
Aside from fruit procurement, you just need basic juice extraction and preservation equipment.
The target market for fruit juice is broad and it is in high demand because it is a healthier alternative to the commercial sugar-laden drinks in the market. Plus, you could offer doorstep delivery to increase your sales.
14. A Cook-On-Demand Business
A Cook-On-Demand Business is one of the cheapest businesses to start in Nigeria. As a bustling, fast-paced country, Nigeria presents the ideal platform for on-demand services due to busy lifestyles. The business model requires a passion for cooking, great recipes, and a can-do spirit.
Essentially, you prepare meals and deliver them to clients upon order. Your initial capital might include purchasing cooking utensils, sourcing ingredients, and basic advertising.
An online presence can dramatically enhance your market reach, turning social media platforms into your virtual food showroom.
Moreover, great food quality, punctuality, and professionalism could set you on a pathway to steady growth and profitability.
15. Dry Cleaning/Laundry Service
Dry Cleaning/Laundry Service is another business option in Nigeria with low start-up costs. This service is necessary due to the busy lifestyle and work commitments of many Nigerians who find little or no time for chores like laundry. This makes dry cleaning/laundry services a booming business in the country.
The basic requirements include a location, either a physical shop or a mobile pick-up and delivery system, washers, dryers, pressing irons, and detergent. Promoting your services through leaflets and social media can draw clients.
With consistent high-quality service, you will steadily attract more clients, leading to greater revenue. This is one business that holds a lot of potential with minimal capital.
Don’t miss out to read – How To Start a Successful Crypto Arbitrage Trading Business in Nigeria
16. Poultry Farming
In Nigeria, poultry farming is a viable and cost-effective business opportunity that can yield significant profits with minimal startup capital. With the high demand for poultry products, including chicken and eggs, this agricultural sector provides a promising return on investment.
As an entrepreneur, you only need a secure space for your birds, the purchase of chicks, feeding, and vaccination costs. Apart from these, understanding the health and environmental factors necessary for optimum poultry production is key.
Once established, poultry farms have the potential to expand and become major suppliers to markets, restaurants, hotels, and households, offering regular income and self-sustainability.
17. Home Cleaning Service
Home cleaning service is another cost-effective business that is highly sought after in Nigeria, especially in urban areas. It requires low startup costs; cleaning equipment, transport means and advertisement being the most significant.
More people are leading busy lifestyles, thereby increasing the need for professional cleaning services for homes and apartments. This business idea also thrives on customer satisfaction, and building a strong reputation is essential for growth.
The entrepreneur should also focus on offering different cleaning packages to meet diverse client needs. A professional home cleaning service, though a low-budget startup, has great potential for growth with proper management, quality services, and strategic customer retention practices.
18. Fish Farming
Fish farming is a highly lucrative business venture in Nigeria and also one of the cheapest to start. Due to the increased demand for fish and fish products, it promises excellent returns on investment.
The initial capital required mainly covers fish pond construction or lease, procurement of fish fingerlings, and feed for their growth.
In terms of location, you can start in your backyard, provided you meet the necessary environmental standards. The feasibility and flexibility of this business make it easy for beginners.
Importantly, acquiring basic knowledge of fish farming is essential to handle breeding, feeding, and harvesting processes to yield optimum profits.
19. Fashion Designing
In Nigeria, fashion designing stands as an appealing business idea due to the constant demand for custom-made clothing and Nigeria’s strong fashion culture. With minimal start-up costs, all you need is a creative mind, basic tailoring skills, and necessary equipment like sewing machines and threads.
Despite a saturated market, individuals who can creatively blend traditional Nigerian designs with modern trends often stand out.
Furthermore, leveraging social media can drastically increase visibility without extra costs. Knowledge and execution of contemporary fashion trends and efficient delivery are keys to success. With persistence and the right branding, fashion designing can be a steady income source.
20. Small Scale Agriculture
Nigeria, blessed with fertile lands, makes agriculture a profitable business sector. Small-scale agriculture is an inexpensive business to start with the potential for considerable profits. With a modest initial investment, you can start farming crops, fruits, or vegetables and gradually expand.
This can include snail farming or growing cassava, rice, tomatoes, and more. It can be labor-intensive but very rewarding in terms of returns. Your primary capital here will be your time, effort, land, and seeds or animals. Selling your farm produce locally or to larger markets, as well as producing goods like palm oil or eggs, can prove lucrative in the long run.
Photography in Nigeria has developed into a flourishing business with minimum initial cost. The growing trend of documenting weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate events, and lifestyle needs in the country has made photography a high-demand service.
With a decent camera, creativity, and editing software, you can establish yourself as a professional photographer. It is also possible to specialize in a specific type of photography, like portraits, events, or fashion photography, to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Knowledge of image editing software will also add value to your work and expand your income opportunities. This career not only earns money but also fulfills creative pursuits.
Tailoring business is one of the cheapest businesses to start in Nigeria and holds tremendous profit potential. To begin, all you need is a good sewing machine, knowledge and skills in tailoring, and a small workspace. You can specialize in certain styles, fabrics, or clothes to stand out in the competition.
The startup cost is low but with a well-built clientele, the earning potential can be substantial. This business also allows you to become your own boss and operate according to your timetable. You can choose to work from home, start a boutique, or even offer home services, which all in all makes it an excellent choice for starting a small business.
23. Hairdressing and Makeup
Hairdressing and makeup businesses are always in high demand in Nigeria, making it an ideal cheap business venture to start. With basic skills and a little training, one can establish a successful business.
The capital needed to start a hairdressing or makeup business can be low, with the most significant expense often being the purchase of equipment and beauty products.
Establishing a salon in your home or a small rented space can drastically reduce costs. The hairdressing and makeup business offers flexibility as you can work by appointment and provide home services.
In a country that highly values appearances, these services remain in constant demand making it a viable and lucrative business option.
24. Mini Importation
Mini importation is one of the most affordable businesses to start in Nigeria. It is a business model where entrepreneur sources affordable goods from countries like China, the U.S., the U.K., and the UAE to sell for profit in Nigeria. The major cost in this business comes from buying the products and paying for shipping.
With advancements in technology, there are numerous online platforms, such as Alibaba, where entrepreneurs can purchase items at wholesale prices.
Popular imported goods include clothing, electronics, and household items. Despite being cheap to start, one needs to be informed about what products are in demand, potential suppliers, and Nigerian importation laws and customs duties to maximize profits.
Don’t miss out to read – 35 Profitable Businesses to Start With 1 Million Naira in Nigeria | 2023 Business Tips
Cheapest Businesses to Start as a Student in Nigeria 2023
25. Pastry and Baking Business
Embarking on a pastry and baking business can be a viable venture for students in Nigeria. With the growing popularity of cupcakes, pies, and doughnuts among many Nigerians, it creates an opportunity for an enterprising student.
Basic baking equipment, ingredients, and a decent recipe book are enough to start a small-scale bakery from home. A good grasp of marketing, product quality, and efficient customer service are essential for growth.
Moreover, it requires less capital to set up, with most of the resources readily available. The business can be carried out part-time, with production planned around academic schedules, thus maintaining a balance between academics and entrepreneurship.
26. Bead Jewelry Making Business
The bead jewelry-making business is another cost-effective venture for Nigerian students. The fashion and beauty industry in Nigeria values unique and locally made items, making bead jewelry a lucrative option.
Beads are affordable, and the tools needed for crafting are not overly expensive. Learning the craft is straightforward, with online tutorials readily available. Beyond just selling the products, one can also provide training classes to other interested students, creating an additional income stream.
It’s flexible, as you can create your pieces in your free time. The business doesn’t necessarily need a physical store as online platforms can be utilized for sales and advertisement, reducing overhead costs and making it a student-friendly enterprise.
27. Pop Corn Production Business
In Nigeria, the popcorn production business has emerged as one of the cheapest ventures to start as a student. Popcorn, loved by both kids and adults, is consumed at almost every event. With a little startup capital for purchasing popcorn seeds and a popcorn-making machine, one can get started. Packaging is key for attracting more customers.
Additionally, students can incorporate flavors like caramel, cheese, and butter to increase the appeal. Marketing and distribution can be done within the campus or in strategic spots in town. Given its potential to generate high profits, popcorn production is a feasible business opportunity for students looking for flexible and viable entrepreneurship options.
28. Selling Shoes
Engaging in a shoe sales business is another affordable and lucrative business a student can undertake in Nigeria. As long as people prioritize their dressing, shoes will always be in demand.
One could start with second-hand shoes that are affordable and in high demand among the lower and middle-income class, and slowly diversify into new ones.
Utilize social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to reach potential customers far and wide. Proper budgeting for inventory, strategic marketing, and having a discerning eye for trendy and quality footwear is vital for success in this venture.
With consistency and determination, students can realize good returns from shoe selling while still pursuing their studies.
You can also explore other businesses to start when you have a lower budget like 50k and above through this article; 35 Profitable Businesses to Start With 50k in Nigeria
29. Selling Wristwatches
The wristwatch-selling business in Nigeria offers excellent growth potential. As a student, you can leverage the availability of high-quality yet affordable wristwatches.
It doesn’t require a physical store, so initial costs can be low. Start by researching trendy styles and customer preferences, then invest in popular models that attract a variety of customers.
It’s all about having the right balance of cost, quality, and design. Market your products online through social media platforms, where you can reach a wider audience, create awareness, and generate more sales.
The income from this business can also assist in your tuition and living expenses while providing you with essential entrepreneurship skills.
30. Selling of Perfume Oil
Engaging in the perfume oil-selling business in Nigeria can be a great way for a student to earn income while studying. Perfume oil is cost-effective to source, particularly if bought in bulk, and you can sell it at reasonable prices.
You don’t need a storefront to start; all you need are some appealing samples to attract potential buyers. The startup cost for this business is minimal, but the returns can be high, especially if you focus on high-quality products.
As with the wristwatch business, online marketing is an effective strategy. Satisfied customers will also serve as a strong advertisement for your perfume oils. It’s an affordable business with the potential to flourish while still managing your academic pursuits.
You can also explore other businesses to start when you have a lower budget like 20k and above through this article; 35 Profitable Businesses to Start With 20k in Nigeria
How to Choose a Cheapest Business Startup in Nigeria
Choosing the cheapest business startup in Nigeria can be a daunting task considering the various businesses that exist. Nevertheless, if you’re considering starting a business on a tight budget, the following points could guide you on how to make the best decision:
1. Understand Your Skills: What are you good at? Your skills can lead you to the best type of business that would be perfect for you. For example, if you have a knack for digital marketing, you might consider setting up a digital marketing agency that can start on a low budget.
2. Do Thorough Market Research: Understand what the market needs and wants. Knowing this would help you to provide a product or service that is highly needed and can generate revenue quickly.
3. Leverage Technology: Businesses such as e-commerce, graphic design, and social media consulting can be done with just a laptop and a good internet connection. Such businesses are not only cheap to start, but also lucrative.
4. Be Innovative: Come up with unique business ideas. This can differentiate your business from others and give you a competitive edge. You can also consider tweaking existing business models to suit your budget.
5. Cost-Effective Marketing Strategies: Adopt cost-effective strategies to promote your business. Use social media platforms and word-of-mouth marketing which require little to no financial commitment.
Remember that even though the business might be cheap to start, maintaining the business and growing it would require consistent hard work and creativity. Be ready to learn, adapt, and grow along the way. With dedication, your business can turn into a highly profitable venture regardless of the initial startup costs.
You can also explore other businesses to start with little or no money. Read this article; 35 Profitable Businesses to Start With Little Money in Nigeria
Frequently Asked Questions
How much capital is needed to start a business in Nigeria?
The capital needed varies depending on the nature of the business. Some small businesses, such as blogging or social media marketing, require very minimal initial investment, perhaps only requiring a stable internet connection and a computer or smartphone. Other businesses, like poultry or fish farming, require a larger upfront investment for equipment, feed, and land.
Are there any governmental incentives or loans for start-ups in Nigeria?
Yes, the Nigerian government has several initiatives aimed at supporting startups, including loans, grants, and training opportunities. These include programs from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bank of Industry (BOI), and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM).
What is the potential for small business growth in Nigeria?
There’s significant potential for growth in Nigeria for small businesses. As Africa’s largest economy, the consumer market is huge, with increasing demands in areas like retail, services, agriculture, and technology.
Setting up a business in Nigeria doesn’t always have to be capital-intensive. With proper planning and a good marketing strategy, inexpensive businesses like dropshipping, tutoring, poultry farming, and recharge card businesses, among others can yield substantial returns.
The cheapest businesses to start in Nigeria come with the benefit of low startup costs and flexible schedules. With the potential for significant growth shortly, these ventures can be lucrative investment opportunities.
However, the success of any business, whether costly or cheap, will still primarily depend on effective management and understanding of the local market conditions.