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Top 43 small & medium scale businesses and entrepreneurship ideas to execute in Nigeria.

small & medium scale businesses and entrepreneurship ideas
These guys looks like they're doing cool stuff

There are no jobs, but there are opportunities. You can wait all year, keep applying to jobs and getting rejected, or keep taking that meagre salary and barely getting by, or you can take advantage of entrepreneurship potentials in your immediate Nigerian environment, create and add value, solve a problem and earn some money for yourself. The choice is yours, but we are here today for those looking for new ideas to explore and build a business out of. The objective of this list is to open your mind to the variety and abundance of ideas and opportunities, even beyond this list. If you eventually decide to start something, you should research, plan and execute properly.

The first 13 of these ideas are from me, while the rest are from Ogbeni Dipo. I have explored the ideas further so you can make better sense of them. Be sure to check out 10 App and Start-up ideas that will work in Nigeria, and 10 viable MSME manufacturing product ideas for entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Let's get into the list then.

1. Ice block Supply –

Power supply is generally terrible in Nigeria, and the need to consume cold or refrigerated beverages makes this a viable idea in various locations, universities, highways, marketplaces, etc. Nigerians want their beverages chilled. What you need? Ice block machines or specialist freezers, you can start with a few of those, a good generator, and somewhere to store it. A good thing to note is to build the sales channel first before starting, ensure that there are people that will buy the ice blocks from you. For instance, the guys that hawk drinks in traffic or by the road, in the market, etc.

2. Internet Café – (Utme registration, university admission, jobs application, etc) –

Believe it or not, the use of mobile phones has not completely replaced internet cafes, but people no longer go to cafes to “browse”, they go there to solve specific problems like UTME registration, university admission processing, jobs application, etc. This is location centric and would work perfect in locations that have young people like university environments and busy intersections. You need not rent a full shop when starting out, you can share a shop with someone else, even someone doing a different business, you need a laptop, printer, small generator, signage, to get started.

3. Photocopying, Passport photography, typesetting, documents processing –

This is similar to internet café, and can be combined with it, or you can focus on this alone. Again, this is location centric. Busy locations, where people need to work on documents. Secretariats, business centres, marketplaces, etc. Find a good location, get a portable used photocopying machine, digital camera & photo printer, generator, etc., and you’re in business.

4. Baking. (Cake, Pies, etc) –

You can fry “chin chin” alone, package it, find small distributors and you’re in business. Haha. Spend 6 months and learn baking. Then strategize, find interesting products to bake, for a specific market or audience, then have a marketing plan. Start small, from your first 10 customers that order 8-10k cakes, then scale to your first 50 customers, and so on.

5. Beddings (Bed Sheet, throw pillows, etc) -

There's an entire section in Ariara (Aba) dedicated to sewing these things in wholesale prices. I know there are other markets too, find the closest to you. Get people to order the materials/design, then order from the guys making it.

6. Ladies Underwear (Keyword *Ladies*) -

Don't even think about guys, a male student can wear same 5 underwear for months, and guys don't care - Goodluck convincing guys to buy boxers/singlets. But ladies? Haha. They wear it for necessity and fashion. This is very competitive too. So, you must differentiate your hustle by being niche. Maybe focusing on Lingerie (the sexy things ladies wear inside, don't know if I got the spelling). Or underwear for big-sized ladies, a niche always helps you market stronger.

7. Photography –

There is food photography, fashion, entertainment, movies, wildlife. There are opportunities in photography to monetise your skill if you’re good. From selling stock photography, to content licensing, partnerships, etc. You should first learn general photography, become good, then start from somewhere, grow and specialize.

8. Mobile POS/ATM cash business –

This is becoming increasingly popular too. It has its risks, but so does any business. You basically let people withdraw and deposit money through you, for a small fee. You need a POS machine, good location and you’re in business.

9. Run a blog/channel about a niche –

First, let me tell you that this is not easy, take it from someone that is doing this. You’re reading this content and enjoying it, every week, I write at least 5 quality articles on different career and business areas that are well researched and insightful, I have to consistently do this till the next foreseeable future, then hire more people to keep doing this, as the readership of the blog grows, and we get more paid subscribers. The goal is to grow the blog to become the goto place for career and business content in Nigeria. We want every Nigerian professional and entrepreneur to read this blog daily. Presently, we have content on 8 different career areas or professions, with more to come. We’re introducing content on different business areas too. No one else is doing this, so we’re niche, and you cannot copy it (you could try). Niche, originality, quality, consistency, and time. This seems easy because I enjoy doing it and I’m passionate about business and career development.

Find your passion, create ideas, and if you love writing and educating people, then you should start a blog. It might take a year before you get to see any financial benefit from it, after investing time and resources into it, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

10. Smoothies, Fresh Juice and Drinks -

I once pitched this idea to one of my aunties in 2017. She lives in Umuahia and has a shop in a prime location at the city centre, I gave her the entire blueprint, but she chickened out. For those without any skill or knowledge about smoothies, you can spend 3 – 6 months or even less to learn the skill at any culinary school near you, depending on your dedication. There are a variety of fresh juice and drinks you can make and sell in a specific location, targeting a specific audience or consumers.

11. Beverage and local drinks bottling -

Who knew someone could make a business out of bottling Zobo and other local drinks, but people have. There are different brands of those local drinks now available at your favourite stores. Most of these guys started small, with nafdac approval, they got a few their recipe right, got the manufacturing process streamlined and working, then got a few stores to distribute for them, and boom, the scaled.

12. Grilled Chicken and Fish -

Much like smoothies, fresh juice and drinks, this can be learned if you have the interest. I used to have a favourite grilled chicken spot in PH back in the day, it was a very busy location in Orazi in Port harcourt. They made grilled chicken and chips, they didn’t even have their own shop, they were on the roadside, sharing a shop with a bar, and they operated only in evenings/nights. They use mornings and afternoon to prepare the chicken and sauce ingredients.

13. Digital creative agency –

A full digital agency combines digital marketing, with web design, and brand or graphics design. These guys bring ideas to reality. But as someone just starting out, you should start with one skill, could be graphics design, web design (WordPress, etc), or digital marketing, then as you grow, learn more skills to incorporate and employ more hands to scale. The strategy in aspiring to run a full digital agency is that you’re well grounded and diversified. Further, most clients nowadays will want everything done for them – think of a new business, that wants a website, social media content, logo design, etc.

I curled the following from a list compiled by Ogbeni Dipo, it contains 30 MSMEs business ideas and I believe you will find it insightful too;

1. Freelance Graphics Design

2. Freelance Websites Development

3. Social Media Management

4. Digital Marketing/Influencing

5. Home Tutoring

6. Freelance Content Writing/Copywriting

7. Resume Writing

8. Footwear Production

9. Perfume/Fragrance Retailing

10. Fashion (Dress) Designing

11. Tour Guide/Trip Planning/Travel Consulting

12. Private Chef

13. Small Chops Vendor

14. Corporate Catering (Office Lunch Delivery)

15. Event Planning (Parties, weddings, birthdays, etc)

16. Children Day Care/Babysitting

17. Photographing/Videography

18. Care Home for the Elderly

19. Home Laundry Pickup and Delivery

20. House Cleaning

21. Massage Therapist

22. Interior Designing

23.Mobile Hair Barbing

24. Mobile Hair, Face/Cosmetic Beautician

25. Small Business Tax Accounting

26. Admissions Essay Writing/Proof-reading

27. Virtual Assistant

28. Uber/Bolt Driving

29. Farm and Agribusiness Consulting

30. Healthy Lifestyle Advisory/Gym Instructor

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