10 Lucrative Small Businesses to Start with N20,000 in Nigeria

Getting the right amount of capital to start a business could sometimes be hard to come by.

But you can start a few lucrative small businesses with what you have right now from where you are.

If you look around you, you would see that there are many small businesses thriving and growing.

These businesses didn’t start today, and they definitely weren’t as flourishing as they are today.

This shows that you can start from somewhere and continue to grow a business. You could even switch businesses if you can grow to a certain level.

Here are 10 small lucrative businesses you could start right now for just N20,000 in Nigeria.

Boxer Shorts Manufacturing

Do you know that over 70% of men in Nigeria wear boxer shorts as underwear? 

Yes, that’s right.

And do you know that there are over 50 million men and young adult males in Nigeria?

The average price for one boxer shorts could range from 200 to 700 Naira, depending on the buyer.

That makes for a market size that is worth well over 10 billion Naira.

It’s a huge market that hasn’t been fully tapped, so you can get on it and start your boxer shorts manufacturing business today.

You could start producing for distributors or selling directly to customers via local markets or eCommerce. 

The possibilities are just endless.

Handkerchief Manufacturing

Just like boxer shorts, handkerchiefs have a huge market in Nigeria.

Since handkerchiefs are not gender-based, the market is larger than that of the boxer shorts.

Do you know that one in four adult males and females own more than one handkerchief?

That should tell you that the market is there for the taking.

If you are good at tailoring, then you can start all by yourself. But most people would recruit the services of a tailor and pay them a cut per batch of handkerchief produced and sold.

You just have to find a tailor that trusts you and is willing to partner with you.

Garri Processing

Almost everyone in Nigeria eats garri in one way or the other.

In fact, more than 70% of families in Nigeria use garri as a side dish with soup, almost on a daily basis.

The market for garri in Nigeria is huge!

You can start your own garri processing business if you have the skill already, or you can learn from local processing farms and start your own.

I’ve seen women who produce garri on a small scale and hawk it in wheelbarrows. These women make good money on a daily basis, and not even exaggerating.

Envelope & paper box Manufacturing

This is one of the easiest small scale businesses to start right now in Nigeria.

Anyone with common sense can go into this business and start making good money from day one.

It’s a fact that envelopes are in demand for corporate use, but even more demanded are paper boxes for food packaging.

For just 20k Naira, you could start making the normal A4 sized envelopes and distribute them to bookshops near you, or you could start making custom paper boxes from food services around you.

Some paper box manufacturers do get manufacturing contracts from local food companies, which requires the paper boxes to come with customized branding.

Pillow & bed sheet Manufacturing

Everyone must sleep.

It doesn’t matter where, but most people would need a bedsheet and pillow to have a good night’s rest.

Ok, I must confess, I hate pillows and a few people do as well.

But for the majority, a pillow is an essential tool for sleeping well.

That is why I consider pillow and bed sheet manufacturing to be a very lucrative business if you can find your market and provide the right quality of pillows and bed sheets.

You will need sewing skills or you can hire a tailor to help you fulfill all the tailoring demands of the business.

A pillow would cost you less than 500 Naira to produce, but it could be sold for more than 2,500 Naira. That’s a whopping 500% profit.

Since a pillow is essentially a folded bed sheet stuffed with foam and soft materials, you will make more money if you can find free soft materials to use, such as old mattresses.

You just have to be street-smart to drive your cost down by having the right production and distribution partnerships.

One pillow a day could be the start of a bedding business that makes other products such as bed cushions and duvets.

Fruits & Vegetables Shop

I’ve been a strong advocate for fruits and vegetables retailing, not just because I live fruits but because it is quite a simple business.

Anyone could start a fruits and vegetables shop, and start making as much as 200% profit from day one.

You just have to be skilled at buying low and selling high. Buy the fruits and vegetables that are most demanded and position yourself at the right selling spot.

You could even start this business as an investor where you design a grocery brand with a distribution channel, and employ sales people to work for you.

Bread & Snacks Distribution

I recently read a story of a man who resigned from his bank job and started a bread distribution business.

According to him, he now earns almost five times what he earned at the bank, with added freedom of work.

Now, that’s something to be proud of, but it shows you that bread & cake distry can be a lucrative small business for anyone willing to put in the work.

All you have to do is find a bakery near you, have a contract that requires you to deposit only a part payment before distribution, and start talking to supermarkets and provision stores.

You have to be good at marketing to be successful in this business, as you’ll need to talk to a lot of shops and supermarkets to build a large distribution network.

Condiments & Soup Shop

This is just like a grocery shop, but only for soups.

If you are a soup or stew lover in Nigeria, then you would have already come across these soup shops.

Many of them are run by moms and pops, which makes them not look like lucrative businesses.

But don’t be deceived. These shops are what these moms and pops use to train their children in school from primary through tertiary.

So, there must be good cash flow in it.

Recently, I spoke with an owner of a soup shop and she told me that on average, she makes more than 5,000 Naira per day in pure profit.

That is, if she counts and removes her cost price and other expenses, she makes an average of 5,000 Naira gain.

That’s about 150,000 Naira in a month.

Akara & Fries Shop

Akara & fries is a daily staple food used alongside pap, bread or Agidi (corn flour jello) in Nigeria.

I enjoy akara and bread or a mixture of fries with pap.

It is a popular and lucrative business that can be started on a small scale from anywhere.

You could start your own fries spot in front of your house, at a street junction, or opposite a church.

You have to be strategic in this business because your profitability largely depends on your positioning.

A good Akara & fries Shop could be making anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 Naira in revenue per day, which could amount to around 5k to 8k in profit.

The business could be quite strenuous, so you will need some help or assistance to be able to effectively meet customer demands.

Egg Distribution

As delicate as eggs are, they are money spinners to those who know how to spin the business.

Egg distribution is one of the most lucrative small businesses you can start in Nigeria right now.

The consumer rate is high and profits are good.

You can start your egg distribution business from home with as little as 20,000 Naira.

All you have to do is source for an egg farm where you can purchase eggs cheaply, and then find a location that has high demand for eggs and is far from the farm.

You could also approach shops and let them know how much you sell per crate, which can be delivered in wheelbarrows.

You could buy a crate of egg for 800 Naira and sell for 1,200 to 1,500 Naira depending on whether you are selling as a retailer or distributor.

On average, you could be making as much as 300 Naira per crate of egg. If you can sell 10 crates per day, which is on the low side, you could make a reasonable profit of 3,000 Naira.

That is about 90,000 Naira per month if you are not making much sales.

But on the average, you could be selling 20 to 50 crates of eggs per day, which should give you a daily profit of  between 6,000 and 16,000 Naira.

Now, that’s a handsome profit.

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