Business Ideas

Cheapest Businesses To Start In Nigeria

Starting and running a successful business doesn’t have to break the bank. While some enterprises require millions in investment to launch, there are many great money-making ideas out there that can be started on a shoestring budget.

In fact, Nigeria has one of the most vibrant small business landscapes in Africa, with thousands of micro-enterprises thriving across the country. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and need to launch your startup on a tight budget, there are proven business models you can replicate to get off the ground without spending a fortune.

In this blog post, we will highlight 10 of the cheapest businesses you can start in Nigeria with low startup capital. These creative business ideas can be launched with just 50,000 to 200,000 naira yet have the potential to grow into highly profitable ventures.

So if you want to join the lucrative world of Nigerian entrepreneurship on a lean budget, read on for insightful tips!

Cheapest Businesses To Start In Nigeria

1. Food Vending

The food business is always in demand in Nigeria. Setting up a food stall or kiosk selling snacks like meat pies, puff puff, or fruits can be done with little capital. You can start with as low as ₦50,000.

The key is to find a good location with a lot of foot traffic like schools, markets, motor parks, etc. As your customer base grows, you can expand your menu and staff. Food vending is a scalable business that can grow as big as you want it to.

2. Tailoring

Tailoring is another evergreen business idea. You can start a simple tailoring shop with just one sewing machine and skills. Rent a small space, buy a sewing machine and materials and you are good to go.

As your business expands, you can hire apprentices and increase the number of machines. The startup cost for basic tailoring business can be as low as ₦100,000. Good customer service will help build loyalty and grow your clientele.

3. Phone Charging/Repairs

Mobile phones are ubiquitous in Nigeria today. Starting a phone charging and repairs business can be done fast and cheap. Source for damaged phones, repair them, get phone accessories and chargers.

Rent a small space in a busy area and offer phone charging services for a small fee. Repair phones and sell accessories too. You can partner with local phone credit sellers too. This can be started with less than ₦50,000.

4. Retail Shop

A retail provisions shop selling everyday essentials like bread, beverages, rice, oil etc. is easy to setup. A good location is key as you depend on walk-in customers. Start small by renting just shelves in an existing shop then expand into your own space later.

You can partner with distributors or buy inventory outright. Initial inventory and rent for a small shop would cost about ₦100,000 to start.

5. Event Planning

If you have good organizational skills, event planning is a rewarding business to get into. Offer event planning and coordination services for weddings, parties, conferences etc. Start small by working with a limited budget and offering just the core services.

As you gain experience, expand your services. The business can be started from home with less than ₦50,000.

6. Cleaning Services

Offer professional cleaning services for homes and offices. As it is just a one-person business, you only need basic supplies like brooms, mops, detergents etc. to get started.

Offer competitive rates and provide quality service to build your reputation. You can partner with building contractors, real estate agents etc. Startup costs would be under ₦100,000.

7. Freelance Services

Offer freelance services like writing, graphic design, bookkeeping or social media management to earn income. Start by reaching out to friends, family and acquaintances.

Build a portfolio and create social media profiles to reach more clients online. The business can be operated from home with just a laptop and internet connection.

8. Photography

A photography business can be started on a budget. Start with basic photography skills and equipment like a decent camera, backdrop, lighting and editing software. Offer photography services for events, weddings, fashion products etc.

Reach out to potential clients through advertisements and social media. This can be started from home with startup costs between ₦100k to ₦200k.

9. Home Tutoring

If you are good in certain subjects, home tutoring is a simple business to get started with. Offer lessons in subjects like English, mathematics, sciences etc. to students in your neighborhood.

Create flyers and let schools in the area know about your services. Tutoring can be done from home, all you need is teaching materials based on the subjects offered.

10. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing lets you earn commissions by promoting products or services online. Sign up for affiliate programs with companies like Jumia, Konga or Amazon. Promote their products and services on your website, social media or YouTube channel using special links.

When readers make a purchase using your link, you earn a commission. Affiliate marketing can be done from home with very little startup investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of starting a business on a low budget?

Starting a low-cost business reduces your financial risk. It allows you to enter the market without taking on a lot of debt. You can test your business idea without investing too much money upfront.

What type of business licenses and permits are required?

The specific licenses required will depend on your type of business. However, you may need to register your business name, obtain a tax identification number, and get licenses from state and local government agencies.

How can I fund my cheap startup business?

Bootstrapping with personal savings is an option. You can also get loans from friends/family, microfinance banks, or local cooperative societies. Crowdfunding and business competitions also help raise startup capital.

What are the best places to operate my small business in Nigeria?

Busy markets, motor parks, schools, urban neighborhoods, and commercial areas with lots of foot traffic are great places to operate a retail, food or service-based business in Nigeria.

How do I let people know about my business?

You can market your business by word-of-mouth, through friends/family networks, on social media, via flyers/posters, local newspaper ads, and by offering promotions and quality service.

What are the secrets to growing my startup despite limited capital?

Provide excellent customer service, reinvest profits to improve your offerings, leverage social media and technology, start small then scale up, and focus on building long-term relationships.

What are the common challenges faced by budget startups and how can I overcome them?

Challenges include limited funding, lack of visibility, inadequate resources/manpower, and sustaining customer demand. You can overcome them through persistence, innovation, strategic partnerships, and efficient operations.

What are the best cheap business ideas with fast returns on investment?

Some options include food vending, retail shops, event planning, mobile phone repairs/charging, fashion designing, cleaning services, taxi/transport services, photography, and garment production.


The businesses listed above are great examples of how you can start an enterprise in Nigeria on a small budget. They require an investment of ₦50k to ₦200k only. By starting small, minimizing costs, utilizing skills and having good customer service, these businesses can be grown into thriving ventures. An important criteria is that they fill everyday needs that will always be in demand. So choose a promising business idea within your budget and take the first step today.

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