Most Profitable Business in Nigeria with Low Capital

ByTristram Ouma

May 28, 2023
Most Profitable Business in Nigeria with Low Capital

Last updated on March 2nd, 2024 at 05:36 pm

Ever wondered how to start a profitable business in Nigeria without breaking the bank?

There are several businesses you can start with little startup capital that can generate good returns.

However, the key is finding opportunities that leverage your skills, fill a need in the market, and have low overhead costs.

1. Food Vending

Food vending is one of the most profitable business in Nigeria with low capital. All you need to get started is a cart, ingredients, and the motivation to make delicious snacks.

  • Focus on popular street foods like puff puff, akara, moin moin, or suya. These fried treats are always in high demand. Buy quality ingredients in bulk and prepare them fresh each day.
  • Scout a good location with lots of foot traffic like near schools, churches, markets or event centers. Make sure you have access to running water and waste disposal. Pay any necessary permits or licensing fees to operate legally.
  • Keep your menu simple, with maybe 3-5 options to start. You can always expand as your customer base grows. Price items affordably and be consistent with portions so people know what to expect.
  • Provide great service with a smile. Your attitude and interaction with customers can make or break a food business. Greet everyone cheerfully and make personal connections when possible. People will come back just for your friendliness.
  • Reinvest profits to improve and expand. Buy a larger cart, more cooking equipment, additional ingredients, or hire an assistant. Growth will ensure the long-term success of your venture.

With hard work and the right mindset, a food vending business in Nigeria can generate good income.

Start small, focus on quality and service, build a loyal customer base, and soon you’ll have a thriving business and a bright future.

The opportunities in this industry are endless if you have the motivation to succeed.

2. Retail and Wholesale Business

One of the most profitable business in Nigeria with low capital is retail and wholesale.

This includes buying goods in large quantities from manufacturers or importers and selling them in smaller quantities to customers.

To get started, you’ll need to determine what products you want to sell. Some options include:

  • Food items: Rice, beans, yams, plantains, etc.
  • Beverages: Bottled water, soft drinks, juices, etc.
  • Toiletries: Soap, toothpaste, sanitary pads, diapers, etc.
  • Household goods: Kitchenware, linens, small appliances, etc.

Once you’ve selected your products, find reliable suppliers that can sell to you at wholesale prices.

Make sure you understand your target customers and set prices that will give you a good profit margin.

You’ll need a shop to sell from, so look for an affordable retail space in a busy area.

You should also invest in visual merchandising like shelves, tables, and signage to attractively display your goods.

Don’t forget the importance of great customer service.

Greet your customers cheerfully, offer assistance, and build personal relationships.

Happy customers will come back again and again.

With low overhead costs and the potential for high profit margins, retail and wholesale can be very lucrative.

The key is choosing the right products, finding a good location, keeping prices competitive, and providing amazing service.

If you get all these elements right, you’ll be well on your way to success.

3. Car Wash

A car wash business is one of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria with low capital.

All you need to get started is some space, equipment, and a team. Here are some tips to get your own car wash up and running:

Find a good location

Look for a spot with lots of traffic and visibility, like near a gas station, supermarket, or busy intersection.

Make sure you have enough space for the car wash area, equipment storage, and a waiting/drying area for customers.

You’ll also want easy access to a water supply and drainage.

Acquire the necessary equipment

You’ll need a pressure washer, hoses, sponges, towels, vacuums, air fresheners, cleaning solutions, and anything else to properly clean and detail vehicles.

Buy good quality equipment to ensure you provide high quality washes and keep customers coming back.

Build your team

Hire a few attendants to help wash, dry and vacuum the vehicles.

Offer on-the-job training to make sure they provide careful, high-quality cleaning services.

Pay them well and provide good working conditions to keep them motivated.

Set your prices

Charge an affordable price, especially when you first open, to attract lots of customers.

You can then increase prices slightly once you have a loyal customer base. Offer package deals and discounts to keep people coming back.

Market your business

Promote your new car wash in the neighborhood to spread the word.

Post on community Facebook groups, put ads in local newspapers, offer special promotions, and provide excellent customer service to build a good reputation through word-of-mouth.

With the right location, equipment, staff, and marketing, a car wash can be a very profitable business in Nigeria.

Keep your customers happy and coming back again and again for a successful, long-lasting operation.

4. Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services

Laundry and dry cleaning services are always in high demand, especially in populated cities like Lagos and Abuja.

This is a profitable business in Nigeria that requires relatively low capital to start.

Low Startup Costs

To get started, you’ll need commercial washers and dryers, a shop space, and basic supplies like detergents and hangers.

You can find good deals on used equipment to keep initial costs low.

Look for a affordable retail space in a busy area with lots of foot traffic. Promote your new business on social media to spread the word.

Multiple Revenue Streams

Offer wash and fold laundry service, dry cleaning, and alterations and repairs.

You can charge by the pound for laundry and by the item for dry cleaning.

Alterations and repairs provide extra income.

Consider offering pickup and delivery for an additional fee.

Loyal Customer Base

If you provide quality service at a fair price, your customers will come back again and again.

Build loyalty by offering discounts and promotions to repeat clients. Satisfied customers will also refer their friends and family.

Focus on convenience, turnaround time, and keeping clothes clean and wrinkle-free.

Low Overhead

Once your business is up and running, costs are minimal.

You’ll need to pay rent, utilities, supplies, and employee wages.

But with the high volume of clothes processed each day, profits can be substantial.

Look for ways to increase efficiency and lower costs over time.

With good management, a laundry and dry cleaning service can be very lucrative.

Starting any business has risks, but a laundry and dry cleaning service has a proven business model and the potential for success.

If you go in with realistic expectations, work hard to build your customer base, and keep costs low, you’ll be well on your way to running a profitable small business.

With time and experience, you can expand into multiple locations and grow your brand.

5. Photography and Videography

Photography and videography is a profitable business in Nigeria with low capital. All you need to get started is a camera, a laptop for editing, and the skills and creativity to take great photos and videos.

Learn the Craft

Study photography and videography to learn the basics.

You can find many free resources online to teach yourself, or you may want to invest in a course to help you master the technical skills.

Practice a lot to build your portfolio.

Invest in Good Equipment

You don’t need the most expensive gear to get started, but invest in a high-quality camera, lenses, lighting, and editing software as your business grows.

For photos, a DSLR camera is good for beginners.

For video, you can use a DSLR, mirrorless, or camcorder camera.

Build Your Portfolio

Do some free or low-cost shoots for friends, family, and local businesses to build your portfolio.

Share the photos and videos on your website and social media.

A strong portfolio will help you land paying clients.

Set Your Rates

Research what other photographers and videographers charge in your area to determine competitive rates.

You may charge per hour or per project.

Offer discounts when you’re first getting started to build your client base.

Find Clients

Market your services through your website, social media, online listings, and word-of-mouth referrals.

Weddings, events, product photography, and commercial video are all options.

You might also sell stock photos and footage to generate passive income.

Continue Learning

Take additional courses or workshops to strengthen your skills in areas like lighting, editing, directing, and the latest gear and software.

Stay up-to-date with trends in photography and videography to better serve your clients.

With time and dedication, you can build a successful photography and videography business.

Start small, focus on quality, and keep learning and improving your craft.

Soon, you’ll be capturing amazing moments and turning your passion into profit.

6. Farming and Agriculture

Farming and agriculture offer many opportunities for profitable business in Nigeria with low capital.

Some of the most promising areas include:

Crop Farming

Growing staple crops like rice, maize, cassava, yam, and plantains are always in high demand in Nigeria.

These require relatively little equipment to get started and have a quick harvest cycle.

You’ll need to acquire good farmland, quality seeds, fertilizer, and equipment like a tractor, irrigation system, and harvesters.

Look for high-yield, disease-resistant crop varieties that are suitable for your region’s climate.

Livestock Farming

Raising chickens, goats, sheep or cattle can also be quite lucrative.

Many Nigerians consume meat and dairy products daily, so the demand is constant.

Start-up costs include purchasing young livestock, constructing housing, and equipment for feeding, watering and healthcare.

Make sure you have a plan for selling and distributing your products. Also consider value-added products like eggs, milk, cheese, or leather goods.


With over 800 km of coastline, Nigeria has a thriving fishing industry.

You can start small by raising catfish, tilapia or shrimp in tanks or ponds and selling to local markets or restaurants.

As your business grows, you may want to invest in boats and equipment for offshore fishing. Be sure to obtain proper permits and licenses for catching and selling your seafood.


Once crops have been harvested or livestock raised, the next step is processing the raw materials into finished goods for distribution and sale.

Milling rice, cassava and other grains, extracting palm oil, producing fruit juices, and packaging meat are all possibilities.

While more capital-intensive, agro-processing allows you to add value to primary products and increase your profit margins.

You’ll need equipment, a production facility, packaging, and a means to distribute your goods.

With some market research, a solid business plan, and start-up capital, farming and agriculture can be very rewarding in Nigeria.

Identify opportunities in your local area, build connections with other farmers and businesses, and work to establish a loyal customer base.

With time and experience, a small family farm can grow into a thriving agribusiness.

7. Transportation and Logistics

The transportation and logistics industry in Nigeria is a lucrative sector with many opportunities for budding entrepreneurs.

Here are some of the most profitable businesses you can start with little capital:

Commercial motorcycling (okada)

Okada riding is a popular means of transportation in Nigeria, especially in rural and low-income areas.

To start an okada business, you need a motorcycle, helmet, and proper registration and licensing.

Okada fares can be quite profitable, often higher than bus fares for the same routes.

Tricycle (keke) operation

Keke Napeps are a common sight in many Nigerian cities and towns.

They fill the need for cheap transportation over short distances.

To become a keke operator, you need a tricycle, permits, and licensing.

Keke fares are also usually higher than bus fares, so this business can be very lucrative.

Bus service

Intercity and intracity bus services are always in high demand in Nigeria.

Although starting a bus service requires significant capital to purchase vehicles, it can be a very rewarding business.

Key requirements are obtaining proper permits and licenses, recruiting experienced drivers, and establishing routes.

With strategic route planning and competitive fares, a bus service can become highly profitable.

Haulage and logistics

The transportation of goods and cargo within Nigeria is big business.

As a haulage and logistics operator, you transport freight for individuals and businesses using trucks, tankers, and haulage vehicles.

This requires major capital to acquire the necessary fleet but can generate substantial and consistent revenue.

You need permits, insurance, experienced drivers, and strategic partnerships with manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.


Providing warehousing and storage facilities is another profitable logistics business.

You charge clients for the safe storage and handling of their goods and cargo.

The key requirements are securing warehouse space, equipment like forklifts, and putting proper processes in place to ensure efficient operations and security of clients’ goods.

With many importers and businesses in need of storage space, warehousing can be a lucrative venture.

In summary, the transportation and logistics sector offers many opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in Nigeria to start profitable businesses with minimal barriers to entry.

With hard work and persistence, these businesses can generate good returns on investment.

8. Tailoring and Fashion Design

The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in Nigeria. Starting a tailoring and fashion design business is a great way to tap into this market.

With low startup costs, you can get your business up and running in no time.

Identify Your Niche

Do you want to focus on wedding dresses, children’s clothing, or everyday casual wear?

Choosing a niche will help you specialize and build expertise in that area.

Promoting your business will also be easier when you have a clear target customer.

Build Your Skills

Take courses on pattern making, sewing, and fashion design. Learn how to take measurements and fit clothes properly.

Stay up to date with the latest styles and trends.

Continuous learning will ensure you provide high quality and stylish designs to your customers.

Source Affordable Materials

Shop at large fabric markets to find a wide selection of fabrics, trims, and other notions at lower prices. Buy in bulk when possible to keep costs down.

Recycle and upcycle materials from secondhand clothing and textiles.

Market Your Business

Create social media profiles to help promote your business online for free.

Offer promotions and discounts to new and returning customers.

Build a portfolio of your designs to show the quality and style of your work.

Participate in fashion shows and design competitions to increase visibility.

Keep Costs Low

Work from a home studio or small workspace to avoid high rental fees.

Start with basic equipment like a sewing machine, scissors, needles, and a mannequin.

You can always invest in more advanced tools as your business grows.

With the right skills and dedication, a tailoring and fashion design business can be very rewarding.

Identifying your niche, honing your craft, sourcing affordable materials, effective marketing, and keeping costs low are some of the keys to success in this industry.

If you have a passion for fashion and design, take the chance and start your own tailoring business today.

Most Profitable Business in Nigeria With Low Capital FAQs

So you want to start a profitable business in Nigeria but don’t have a lot of capital to invest? No problem, there are many options for aspiring entrepreneurs on a budget.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about starting a successful business in Nigeria with low capital.

What types of businesses can I start with little money?

Some of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria with low capital include:

  • Retail shop or kiosk: Selling everyday goods and groceries is always in demand. Look for a niche market like organic foods or natural beauty products.
  • Food service: A food truck, roadside snack shop, or small restaurant can be very lucrative. Nigerians love to eat out and snack.
  • Consulting: If you have experience or expertise in a field like marketing, IT, or business development, consider offering consulting services. Low overhead and high earning potential.
  • Online selling: Sell products or services through websites like Jumia and Konga. Minimal investment needed to get started. Dropshipping is also popular, where you sell products shipped directly from the manufacturer.
  • Personal services: Things like hair styling, tailoring, driving or cleaning services are always needed. Provide high quality service and build up a loyal customer base through word-of-mouth.

How much money do I need to get started?

The amount of capital required depends on the type of business, but in general, you can start many small businesses in Nigeria for ₦50,000 to ₦500,000. Some options like consulting or online selling may require even less to get off the ground. The key is starting small and building up your business over time in a sustainable way.

What are some tips for success?

Some tips for running a profitable small business in Nigeria include:

  • Find an underserved niche market. Look for needs not being met.
  • Provide great customer service. Build loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion.
  • Keep costs low. Operate as efficiently as possible, especially in the beginning.
  • Continuously reinvest in your business. Use profits to improve and expand over time.
  • Build a professional brand and online presence. Even for small local businesses, a website and social media profiles are important.
  • Network and make valuable connections. Join local business organizations and chambers of commerce.
  • Consider business training or mentorship. Develop your entrepreneurial skills and learn from those who have gone before you.

With hard work and perseverance, you can build a thriving business in Nigeria, even without a lot of startup capital. The opportunities are there if you look for them.


So there you have it, some of the most profitable businesses you can start in Nigeria with little capital. The opportunities are endless if you have the drive and determination. Don’t sit around waiting for that million-dollar idea or huge investor to come along. Start small, leverage the resources you have, build momentum, and grow from there. The key is just to get started.

Pick one of these businesses, develop a simple plan, and take that first step.

Starting a business is challenging work, but also exciting and rewarding.

If you go in with realistic expectations, learn from your mistakes, and never give up, you’ll be running a successful enterprise in no time.

Now go out there and make it happen.