Small Scale Business in Nigeria: 10 Best Ideas to Try

Small scale business in Nigeria

Are you looking to start a small-scale business in Nigeria with little capital? If yes, then you’re in the right place!

In this article, we’ll cover the definition of a small-scale business, how to start it, ideas you can try, the reasons for starting the business, challenges, and solutions.

We advise you to go through this article thoroughly to avoid missing out on any substantial information.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Table of contents

Introduction to Small-scale Business in Nigeria

A small-scale business is an industry that manufactures goods and services on a minimal scale.

Here, the owner utilizes the capital to start the business, bears the losses and gains, and invests in the machines used to carry out various operations.

Over the years, many Nigerians have ventured into small-scale businesses, thereby generating income and expanding their businesses to become big-time companies.

Small-scale businesses in Nigeria have gained a foothold in the Nigerian economy by contributing approximately 48% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

These businesses have drastically reduced the rate of unemployment by over 45%, thereby creating many entrepreneurs who are goal-oriented to achieve success in their ventures.

Additionally, small-scale businesses can be found in many places, especially urban areas, where they thrive and make income daily.

Some examples of small-scale business in Nigeria include bakeries, provision stores, makeup services, dry cleaning services, etc.

Why You Should Start a Small-scale Business in Nigeria

Starting a small-scale business in Nigeria can be a thrilling and enjoyable experience, especially when you have a passion for it.

It’s like converting your interests into an opportunity to gain something that can provide substantial income that can serve you in the long run.

Furthermore, it gives you the chance to be your own boss (financial freedom). Amazing, right?

However, starting a small-scale business in Nigeria can be daunting, especially when you lack the capital and basic knowledge of running a business.

Nevertheless, if you can overcome these challenges, running your business will become a pleasant ride that will yield fruitful results.

Without further delay, below are some reasons why you should start a small-scale business in Nigeria.

1. Flexible Work Schedule

One of the numerous benefits of starting a small-scale business is its ability to provide flexibility in your work schedule.

In other words, you can work at your convenience, which will not be possible if you’re working for a company.

This flexibility allows you to handle many activities without sacrificing one for another.

For instance, if you own a provision store and have other pressing issues at hand, you can quickly address them and come back to your store to commence work for the day.

Therefore, your work schedule is right in your hands, and you can change it at any time.

2. Financial Freedom

There is nothing more fulfilling than controlling the finances of your business. Running a small-scale business provides financial freedom and stability.

The best part is that your business has more opportunities to generate income than white-collar jobs.

Furthermore, you can determine your salary every month and grow and expand your business by reinvesting your profits.

Plus, the more your business grows, the higher the routes for generating income and multiplying the sources of revenue.

3. Professional Growth

Starting a small-scale business gives you the opportunity to gain professional knowledge and develop new skills that will be beneficial in the long run.

These skills include handling finances, marketing, and exceptional customer service. Also, you can build a trustworthy team that you can use to expand your business.

This gives you the chance to apply these leadership skills to many aspects of your life.

4. Creation of Employment

Starting a small-scale business in Nigeria not only creates employment for you but for others as well.

Through this, you can provide jobs for many youths who are hustling for jobs to earn an income to get by daily.

5. Personal Fulfillment

It’s satisfying to start a small-scale business and watch it grow and expand over time. It gives you the chance to make your dreams a reality while gaining income and making an impact on society.

As a small-scale business owner, you have the opportunity to manufacture products and offer services aimed at solving problems in society.

This can open doors to limitless chances to establish a good working relationship with many clients or customers that will patronize you and refer you to more people.

Furthermore, you can create a healthy work ethic that suits you to ensure the smooth running of your business.

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10 Best Small-scale Business Ideas in Nigeria

Today, many people, both young and old, are into a lot of small-scale businesses that produce a massive amount of income annually.

However, if you’re new to the business world and are looking for the best small-scale business to start, then you’re in luck because we’re going to look at some of them below.

1. Roadside Food Vendor

This business might not seem like much, but it generates a lot of income. There are always hungry bikers looking to start their day with a decent meal before work.

Furthermore, there are always parents who want to buy food for their children to eat during lunchtime in school, site workers who want to eat during their break time, and many others.

You can sell rice and beans with stew garnished with different varieties of protein, such as eggs, beef, and cow skin. Plus, you can add fried plantains, salad, and spinach.

Alternatively, you can sell porridge beans with pap, bread, and vegetables. The best part about this business is that you attract a lot of customers when you prepare delicious meals consistently.

Once you get a lot of customers, your business begins to expand, and you can open your restaurant and upgrade the quality of your meals.

2. Provision Store

Many Nigerians are in the provision store business, which brings in income daily. You can easily start this business with a little capital.

The more customers patronize you, the more income you earn, and the higher the chances of growing and expanding your business.

You can open a provision store in a rural or urban area, and you can open a supermarket with other branches over time.

3. Beauty Salon

Nigerians don’t play with their appearance and always patronize beauty salons to style their hair and carry out other activities.

Opening a beauty salon in a location with a high population can fetch you an awful lot of money, especially when you’re a professional.

You can make hair, sell hair extensions or attachments, and fix weave-ons for women. For instance, you can target big states like Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, and the capital, Abuja, to get more customers.

Hence, you can expand your business when you earn a lot of money by renting or building a bigger shop, hiring more personnel, and offering manicure and pedicure services.

Plus, you can offer grooming services for men, sell hair care products from different brands, and offer more services.

4. Event Planning

These days, many Nigerians leave the planning of their weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries to event planners to ease the stress of planning these events.

This business is quite profitable, especially when you consistently create mind-blowing events that amaze your clients every time.

The best part is that you don’t need to rent a shop; you can market your services online and advertise your previous work.

Therefore, you just need to showcase your skills, and you’re good to go. This way, you can receive jobs from big clients who’ll refer you to other people, and you can earn a lot of money.

5. Catering Services

This business is quite popular in Nigeria, as many people often hire caterers to handle the food and drinks on occasion.

Catering is one business that generates a lot of income, particularly when you can manage the event properly and attend to the guests on time.

All you need is a team of dedicated, diligent, and hardworking individuals who can help you prepare the food, deliver it to the venue on time, and serve the guests properly.

Admittedly, this business is tedious and time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort as it generates a lot of income. Plus, you can get better deals if your services are top-notch.

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6. Make-Up

Nigerian women don’t play with their looks when it comes to looking their best for occasions such as weddings, birthday celebrations, and lots more.

You can easily start this business, provided you have the skills and the right items to make your clients look gorgeous.

Plus, you don’t need to rent a shop, and you can market your skills online to attract many clients.

The cherry on the cake is that with continuous marketing, you can attract celebrities and big clients who’ll patronize you and refer you to other people.

7. Gadget Repairs

There are always people who troop into phone repair shops with one complaint or another about their phones.

This business is lucrative, especially when you possess the right skills and can handle problems with different types and models of phones. Additionally, you can repair laptops and other gadgets.

8. Cyber Café Business

This business only requires a little capital to rent a shop. You can start it with your laptop and a printer.

It generates a lot of income during periods like JAMB registrations, typing and printing of projects for university students, and lots more.

9. Graphics Design

Many companies in Nigeria employ the services of graphic designers to design their logos and banners.

All you need is skill and a well-organized and attractive website to capture the attention of many clients.

10. Baking

Many Nigerians always hire bakers to produce mouth-watering cakes and other snacks during their events.

Learning and perfecting this skill is advantageous, as you can receive orders from big clients who’ll pay a hefty amount to get the best results.

How to Start a Small-scale Business in Nigeria

The current instability in Nigeria’s economy has led to a drastic increase in the price of goods and services.

Caught in this dilemma, Nigerians often encounter the unwavering chant of “things are expensive” by businessmen and women daily, thereby making life difficult.

With this constraint, it’s quite difficult to start a small-scale business in Nigeria, as you will require a lot of capital.

Nonetheless, you can easily maneuver your way through with strong strategies for starting your business.

Without further delay, below are some key strategies that can help you start your business successfully in Nigeria.

1. Business Ideas and Plans

To build a strong house that lasts, you must establish a strong foundation. This principle also applies to starting a small-scale business in Nigeria.

Having creative and effective business ideas and plans requires critical thinking and proper analysis of the kind of business you have in mind.

Furthermore, you must consider the following when creating your business plan;

  • Consider your target market.
  • Consider the issues in your area/location.
  • Analyze the problem to see if you can create a solution and generate income simultaneously.
  • Estimate the costs of your business.
  • Bring out the ways/methods to execute your business.

While having an excellent business idea is exhilarating, it’s imperative to consider many factors before execution to avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your efforts.

Any business that you should execute must be beneficial to society, in demand, capable of growth and expansion, and generate substantial income.

2. Business Funds

Acquiring the funds for your business is one of the fundamental requirements for starting a small-scale business in Nigeria.

You can get funds for your business from your personal savings, family, and friends. However, if these sources are not enough, you can get a loan from your bank.

It’s advisable to take simple, short-term loans that you can pay back slowly without ruining your business.

3. Register Your Business

This step is crucial to starting a small-scale business in Nigeria. You must register your business to ensure the smooth running of its activities.

You can consult a lawyer to assist you in registering your business.

4. Employ Staff

This solely depends on what you want for your business. You can employ trustworthy members of staff to help you handle the affairs of your business.

Nonetheless, you can always run your business yourself. Hence, the ball is in your court.

5. Bookkeeping

It’s vital to keep records of the expenses of your business, your workers’ salaries, and your income.

This helps you to trace any fraudulent activities or sudden losses of income. You can do this by getting a notebook to carry out these reports daily.

6. Open a Business Account

Opening a business account for your business is crucial, as it allows you to control and monitor its finances.

It’s advisable to place restrictions to annihilate fraudulent activities and ensure proper financial management.

Challenges of Small-scale Business in Nigeria and Their Solutions

It’s no secret that every small-scale business in Nigeria encounters challenges that can weigh heavily on the business owner and potentially lead to the ruination of the business.

Nevertheless, there’s always a solution to every problem. So, let’s look at some challenges facing small-scale business in Nigeria and their solutions.

1. Inadequate Funds

Many small-scale businesses often lack enough funds to start their business. However, this can be annihilated by government support.

The government can provide grants and loans to small-scale business owners to support their businesses.

Furthermore, small-scale business owners can learn different methods of managing and utilizing money for their businesses through financial literacy initiatives/programs.

2. Lack of Skills and Capacity

This can be a huge constraint to many business enthusiasts who want to venture into a lucrative business.

Nonetheless, this can be curbed through training programs that can teach/train many people how to successfully start and run a business.

Furthermore, you can easily learn the skills through an apprenticeship with an experienced businessman or woman, depending on the business you want to learn.

3. Poor Infrastructure and Fierce Competition

In this context, poor infrastructure includes bad roads and a lack of power and water supply. These constraints limit market access for starting a small-scale business in Nigeria.

On the other hand, the fierce competition from big companies makes it difficult for small-scale businesses to thrive in the market.

These issues can be eliminated through government intervention by creating good roads and providing constant power and water supplies.

Lastly, the government can equip small-scale business owners with the intelligence to overcome the competition through programs and initiatives.


This article has covered the basics of a small-scale business in Nigeria. Starting a small-scale business can be challenging, but the benefits are numerous, and with the right steps, you can easily run your business smoothly.

So what are you waiting for? Think of creative business ideas, get them on paper, and begin your plans right away. Remember, the ball is in your court, and you run your business according to your rules and ethics.


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