How to start a small scale business in Nigeria
Published On:May 20, 2022
How to start a Small scale business in nigeria

Are you looking out to start a small scale business in Nigeria, then this article is just for you. This is the most comprehensive guide on how to start a small scale business in Nigeria and scale it to the next level without breaking the bank.

One of the greatest advantages of starting a small scale business in Nigeria is, that you’ll add value to people’s lives by satisfying consumer wants and you’ll also contribute positively to Nigeria’s GDP which indicates economic growth and resolves to an increase in currency value.

What kind of small business can I start in Nigeria?

Before you can adequately identify the kind of small scale business in Nigeria you want to venture into, you must first understand the basics of what a small scale business is and all it entails.

Business in every economy is divided into three basic parts which are primary, secondary and tertiary.

Primary business:

This Deals with the extraction of raw materials and sells them to manufacturing industries for further processing.

In this business model, the final products do not go through any process of transformation but they may undergo selection to pick out the best. Eg; farming business, mining business, crude oil extraction, and rearing of animals.

Secondary businesses

This Deals with the manufacturing or transformation of raw materials gotten from the primary businesses into finished or semi-finished goods that ultimately satisfy human wants or business wants. E.g biscuit factory, bakery, sugar factory. E.t.c

Tertiary businesses

These are enterprises that are service focused and utilize finished or semi-finished goods manufactured by secondary businesses to satisfy economic wants. E.g salons, hotels and restaurants.

I believe we have been able to lay a solid foundation on the basis of business, what’s left is for you to decide the type of business you want to venture into under these three parts of business.

There are numerous kinds of Small scale businesses in Nigeria you can start with little to no capital. We have compiled a list of small scale business in Nigeria you can start depending on your budgeted capital.

Micro or small scale business in Nigeria (capital estimation 50k to 2m)

  • Fashion design business
  • Pos business
  • Phone accessories business
  • Sim registration business
  • Retail business
  • Liquid soap business
  • Catering business
  • Photography business
  • Car repair business
  • Car wash business
  • Salon business
  • Make up business
  • Laundry business
  • Interior design business
  • Cement retail business
  • Electronics retail business
  • Phone retail business
  • Poultry business
  • Restaurant business

Medium-scale business in Nigeria (capital estimation 4m to 20m)

  • Pure water business
  • Bakery business
  • Garri processing business
  • Rice processing/ rice farming business
  • Printing press business
  • Construction business
  • Importation and exportation
  • School business
  • Supermarket business
  • Electronics wholesale
  • Eatery or fast food business
  • Fintech business
  • Night clubs business
  • Hotel business

Large scale business in Nigeria (capital estimation 50m and above)

  • Cement factory business
  • Flour factory business
  • Cloth factory business
  • Refinery business
  • Suger factory business
  • Sweet factory business
  • Pharmaceutical factory
  • Soap factory business
  • Milk factory business
  • Biscuit factory business
  • Estate business

if you find this list incomplete, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment suggesting the business venture. Due to the fluctuations in the value of naira against other currencies, these capital estimation can change from time to time, other factors like cost of raw materials and equipment can also result in change.

What are the top 10 most profitable small scale business in Nigeria to Start?

Here’s a list of the top 10 most profitable small scale business in Nigeria, but mind you if you don’t have a business plan before startup then you will lose your investment. You can buy a business plan from us and get a free consultation session, more on that later here’s the list:

  • Pos business
  • Laundry business
  • Catering business
  • Car wash business
  • Fashion design business
  • Phone accessories business
  • Salon business
  • Photography business
  • Liquid soap business
  • Poultry business

Which particular small scale business is profitable in Nigeria?

With proper risk management and location selection, almost all small scale businesses are profitable, this is only achievable when you have a business plan that is tailored in line with your business goals and objectives.

Apart from a business plan you will also need consultation from people who are already operating in such business, you can get a free consultation from us when you purchase one of our business plans.

What business can 20k start in Nigeria?

The only kind of small scale business 20k can start in Nigeria are businesses which are service-oriented and mostly done at home or under an already established shop. Businesses like cake baking, Laundry, car wash e.t.c

The above business can be operated with working capital of 20k but it will be very limited due to how slim the capital is. It’s advisable to seek grants or loans if you’re really motivated to birthing your dream business to life.

Daily income business in Nigeria

A daily income business is a type of business model where profit or returns are actualized daily. These kinds of businesses are very profitable due to the simplicity and short term operation, that is your invested capital is always returned at the end of every business day plus your profits made for that day.

This normally occurs in the market where petty traders always have to roll over the capital every business day. This is also possible for some lucrative business models like:

  • Shawarma business

Legal requirements for starting a Small Scale Business in Nigeria

A business is no business if it’s not registered and indexed by both CAC and any other corporate bodies that give accreditation on the quality and standard of the goods or services offered by that particular business. Some of these other corporate bodies include SON and NAFDAC. E.t.c

To make sure your business is legal you must register your business, so you won’t be categorised as an illegal business even if you’re running a legitimate model of business.

Business registration and acquiring the license is a crucial step for every business start-up, which may require the help of a lawyer or an authorized agent.

Business to start with 500k in Nigeria

Starting a business with 500k means you want to start a small scale business in Nigeria. There are many business opportunities in Nigeria that you can invest 500k, but you have to understand that business is not about making a profit but creating value through offering solutions to gaps in the market while simultaneously making a profit in the process.

I’ve compiled a list of businesses above, that 500k can start, and they are very profitable when you have a business plan for that business. Decide on the kind of business you want to venture into and get a business plan from us or contact us for a free consultation so as to expose you to the secrets of the kind of businesses you can start which is profitable in your location.

Fast-growing business in Nigeria

These are businesses whose industries have grown exponentially within the last five years, and the most interesting fact is that most of these businesses have an easy entry point and are profitable in many locations in Nigeria. Some of these business includes:

  • Poultry business
  • Goat farming business
  • Garri processing business
  • Farming business
  • Fashion design business
  • Importation and exportation business
  • Night clubs business
  • Hotel business
  • Pure water business
  • Factory business

How to get capital for a small scale business in Nigeria?

Getting capital to start a business in Nigeria is one of the daunting tasks for an upcoming Nigerian entrepreneur, this also discourages most Nigerian entrepreneurs and start-ups who don’t have enough finance to compete with current competitors or to satisfy the high demand of the gap in the market which is their target.

Some of the ways in which you can get capital to fund your Small Scale business in Nigeria include:

  • Seek investors and present to them your feasibility plan
  • Get financial aid from your family members
  • Apply for grants
  • Apply for a loan from your bank


In conclusion, it is more profitable to have a small scale business in Nigeria you’re operating, than to have a job that does not pay well and your future now guaranteed. The mistake most people make in their entrepreneur journey is just chasing the money, instead of focusing on offering value.

The Nigerian economy is full of business opportunities brought forth by problems encountered every day. The advantage of every entrepreneur is the efficient use of these opportunities to craft a business model which adequately fills up that market gap.

After identifying a gap in the market the next step is to get a feasibility study and a business plan so you can clarify your expectations as regards profit and operationality. It is also advisable to seek consultation from others operating that same model of business or contact us for a free consultation.

Lastly, a small scale business in Nigeria can not survive without a business plan because of various external and internal factors that affect every Nigerian business, so get a well-detailed business plan from us, which contains all you’ll need for that particular model of business you’re starting.

Good luck with your newfound business and Godspeed.

Micah Erumaka

Micah Erumaka

About Micah Erumaka

Micah Erumaka is the Founder of LiaonCEM solutions which owns NaijaCEO. He is an Internet Entrepreneur and a content creator. After the failure of his first company at age 18 he started NaijaCEO to help entrepreneurs with the information they need in operating a successful business in Africa

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