20 Small Business Ideas You Can Start with 20k or Less

There are hundreds of small businesses which are thriving in the Nigerian society today. Some of these small businesses are already yielding hundreds of thousands of naira to your neighbours and peers.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee! Instead of waiting all year for a white-collar appointment that might not even be forthcoming, here are 20 small businesses you could start up with little capital while you wait for that dream job. You can start all these businesses with 20,000 Naira (aprroximately $70) or less.

Technology Businesses

#1 Recharge card printing

The recharge card you use are mostly not printed by the big telecommunications giants you subscribe to. They are printed by everyday people like you. If you do your research well, you can start this business with as little as #20,000.

#2 Selling fairly used computers and TVs

A host of Nigerians cannot afford to purchase brand new computers, laptops or TV sets. You can start by first opening a free online shop on social media, start collecting used laptops and TVs and then selling them at a higher price, after refurbishing. Don’t see this as difficult, lots of people are already doing it. The first step is to get a shop online or find a small space you can used for 1000 Naira per month, the rest comes with diligence.

#3 Selling fairly used phones

Just like the small business above in #2, this one involves little or no skill. It can be engaged in by anyone including students. Return on investment is almost guaranteed. Once again, diligence is key. However, I would advice that you carry out in-depth research on how to tell “good market” from “bad market”.

#4 Mini cyber café

Cyber café have gone out of fashion, true. But students still need to register for JAMB, WAEC, NECO, post-UTME etc. People who are not digital savvy also need to register for several things online including the very important national passport. If you have a laptop, this is where you come in. If you don’t have a laptop but have a smart phone, you can start doing this business with people around you until you are able to get one. This small business can be started right at the corner of your house. All you need is a small space and a banner that advertises your services.

Food Businesses

#5 Preserving and selling of beans

During the harvest season in Nigeria, foodstuff such as beans become very cheap. You can take advantage of this and buy, store and preserve them to sell during the planting season. You need to first have space for storage.

#6 Buying and reselling of rice or garri

Rice, especially local rice as well as garri, is cheaper in some states of the country than in others. You could start a business buying and selling these foodstuffs with as little as #20,000. You, however, need to be committed to making it work as it requires a lot of logistics.

Animal husbandry

#7 Fish farming

Small scale fish farming is easy to start and requires low capital. You can start this right at your backyard with a large basin, few fingerlings that can fit in it and fish feed. However, I advise you do some in-depth research first.

#8 Snail farming

Just like fish farming, small-scale snail farming is also lucrative. It, however, requires that you take your time to understand how it’s done first.

#9 Poultry farming

This one requires a little bit of skill but also promises a high return on investment. You can start this with a few chicks and a make-shift cage right in your backyard.

“My best advice to entrepreneurs is this; forget about making mistakes, just do it.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

#Advice: These small business ideas require planning and lots of patience to grow into profitable businesses. Don’t be scared of failing, just do it!

Service Businesses 

#10 Dry cleaning

No matter how many dry cleaning shops are out there, more are still needed. You can start with dry cleaning at home for neighbors. Get a business card and distribute it. Start with manual washing if you don’t have a washing machine; no one cares as long as their clothes are clean, ironed and smells nice. Make your business stand out and you will excel.

#11 Barbing (hair trimming)

Starting this business doesn’t necessarily require that you have the skill of barbing. You can start this business and have someone do the actual hair-trimming. You can even get creative by offering a home barbing service if you have trouble with raising money for rent. 

#12 Restaurant

If you know how to cook, why fold your hands and complain of joblessness? Start a restaurant, it pays beyond your wildest imaginations. In fact here’s a little maths; if you invest N10,000 into making 100 plates of rice which you sell for #300, you will be making a profit of #20,000 every day. It’s possible! Once, again, you don’t need a shop. Identify an office, school, business or wherever people need food in your area. Create a professional menu and distribute it. You would soon start getting calls!

#13 Furniture

Furniture collection, making and selling is really lucrative. You don’t need to be a carpenter to do this. All you have to do is create a catalogue of beautiful furniture and showcase to potential customers. When they  place their orders, you can take it to local carpenters to make. Make sure you give you customers quality. However, I advise you do plenty of research before kick starting this. 

#14 Newspaper/Magazine Sales

This small business is quite easy to start. You can simply start by ordering few copies of the magazines you want to sell and placing in on a makeshift shelf on the road (to get a small open space costs less than 5000 Naira a month). You make money through sales or on the spot reading. You can also tow the path of newspaper or magazine home delivery. You can even have someone manage it for you.

#15 Car wash

Starting a small car wash shop requires little capital. The most difficult part is getting a workspace…but once again, this is not necessary. You can start by identifying potential customers in your neighbourhood and offering them home service.

General buying and selling

#16 Buying and selling of clothes; for male, female or children

Clothes business will remain lucrative till the end of time. It just depends on how ready you are, to begin with. You can start designing clothes at a cheap rate and reselling to friends, colleagues or even to people online.

#17 Buying and selling of jewellery

This business can be started with as little or as much as you’re willing to put in…make that as little as #20,000 if you are buying on alibaba. However, the higher your investment, the higher your returns will be. You can buy jewellery at a cheap rate on alibaba or other wholesale sites or you can buy at a local market and resell.

#18 Buying and selling of shoes; male female or for children

Quite identical to clothing business, this business can be started with little cash. It requires you make some contacts first. You can decide to sell brand new or used shoes.

#19 Selling of human hair, Brazilian hair, and other female attachments

Many ladies are obsessed with their hair and are willing to spend lots of cash to satisfy this obsession. You can start this business which promises high returns. Once again, you can buy from local markets or online and resell to friends, colleagues or people online.

#20 Buying and selling of charcoal

Charcoal business is a small business that is highly profitable but one which is constantly being ignored by Nigerians. You could venture into this and make money. Simply identify people who have need for charcoal regularly, buy in bulk and supply to them at a profit.

There are many more small businesses you can start with very little capital. Do share your small business ideas in the comments section!

 

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