List of Top 10 Small Scale Business in Nigeria with Low Capital & How to Start

fast moving small scale business in Nigeria

last Updated on July 10, 2023

The past few years have been tough for most people. The catalyst was the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic resulted in global lockdowns, loss of jobs, businesses closing down, and ultimately the crash of the world’s economy. One certain thing is that you are alive to be reading this. That’s a lot to be thankful for.

In the new year, it is important you come up with ways to create additional means of income to support you and your family as the world continues to feel the effects of Covid-19. One way you can do this is to start a small scale business in Nigeria.

Rather than reminisce and think about how unfavourable last year was, why not pick up yourself and think of a business idea or something to make ends meet, while you wait for that job offer or the million-dollar contract that’s on its way?

With a small scale business in Nigeria, you don’t necessarily have to register your business or company.

See: Profitable Businesses to Start with 100K in Nigeria

You can just start, as soon as you decide on the small scale business in Nigeria that suits you, that is perfect for your location and even the amount of capital you have available.

A small scale business in Nigeria can help put some change in your pocket, It can help you to settle some of your pressing needs while generating additional income for foodstuff supply, your kid’s welfare and school fees, your bills/responsibilities, and also some funds before the landlord comes knocking on your door.

Here is a well-selected and researched list of small-scale businesses in Nigeria you could start with little or no capital this year.

List of Small Scale Business in Nigeria to Start

Fast moving small scale business in nigeria

Here is a list of Fast moving small scale business in Nigeria:

1. Hair Styling

Top Fast Moving Small Scale Business in NIgeria

hair making business

This is one lucrative small scale business in Nigeria that I’ll recommend to anyone, especially if they are blessed with a skill for it or have good interest.

If you’re starting a hairstyling business for women. You can practically start it with little capital.

But it isn’t the same for a hairstyling business for men (barbershop). Starting a barbershop can require slightly more capital than a hair business targeted at women. Most people in the hairstyling business for women started from either their balcony, in a small open space or under a tree.

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I remember back then when young girls and boys were sent to Mama Bisi’s home or Uncle Tosin’s “under the shade” corner to weave or cut their hair for school.

This small-scale business in Nigeria can be more profitable than people imagine. The majority of them now hire workers and apprentices to assist them in their shops as the business grows.

However, I must add that the only way you could be a hairstylist, barber, or wig maker and make cool cash without renting a shop, is by being smart, and friendly, and asking your regular customers (relatives, neighbours, friends, or ex-colleagues) for referrals especially when their hairdo speaks for you.

Also See: Best Business Ideas for Ladies in Nigeria

2. Plantain Chips Business

Fast Moving Small Scale Business Idea in Nigeria

Every home has a plantain lover, whether fried, boiled, or roasted (boli). Now, imagine if you could start making plantain chips to sell around your neighbourhood, believe me, your neighbours would patronize you.

You could start by buying a bundle to fry, package them well, and sell at a considerate amount of either ₦50 or ₦100 and if you have extra cash to spare, you could negotiate with young people to help distribute this at a reasonable cost, this way everyone happily gets his or her cut.

Other ones to try could be groundnuts, chin-chin, and peanuts. You could also reach out to those who sell in schools around you, and offer to supply them each day when they resume.

Don’t forget that there is a lot of money to be made while they are at home too. Just be creative and strategic.

3. Laundry Service

Hot Small Scale Business in Nigeria

Instead of waiting till you can purchase a washing machine and dryer before starting your laundry business, you could start with just your basins, detergents, iron, and a pressing board for the time being; and expand with your proceeds.

I met a young chap who started this business a few years ago, to sponsor his education and doesn’t even iron the clothes for you.

His customers provide the detergent, and sometimes the basin and water supply to wash for them.

Whenever he picks up the clothes, that is if it’s home service, he takes them to where he stays, washes, and returns them dried (his customers do the ironing themselves or pay him extra for it).

So, if you don’t mind washing extra clothes to earn a living, then you could consider being a washerman for a while and with time buy your washing machines and dryers.

4. Food Distributor

Profitable Fast Moving Small Scale Business in Nigeria


Another lucrative business you could start while waiting for that breakthrough is being a food distributor, especially when you have a means of distributing these goods either by a vehicle you own or hiring a car, truck or bus.

You have to know that this business requires some start-up capital since no supplier is ready to give out goods in large quantities on credit these days.

This food distribution business can turn out to be a very lucrative business venture with the right dedication.

The major items you could distribute are bread, bottled or sachet water, drinks, and stationery, but ensure you seek out retailers or customers that you can supply daily, before investing much in this business.

You can always start with the few ones you’ve gotten – street vendors, kiosks, roadside shops, etc; so, you don’t run out of business and lose your capital.

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5. IT Services for MSMEs

Schools, churches, and offices are always on the lookout for people to help reduce their workloads in terms of typesetting and in printing large files.

If you’ve got a laptop or desktop computer, printer, and maybe a generator (to avoid power interruption) then this is an ideal business for you.

Some schools outsource their typing and printing jobs, especially during the academic year. A visit to schools or offices around you to advertise your skills would be a great idea because examination questions, meeting minutes, bulk proposals and letters need to be typed and if you are skilled in graphics designing too, then it’s more money for you.

6. Recharge Card Business

There is hardly anyone on the street without a mobile phone, so you could either start up a recharge printing business or become a retailer.

But mind you, this requires some start-up capital to learn how to print them yourself or purchase in large quantities from someone who prints for wholesalers.

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7. Home Delivery Service

delivery companies in Nigeria

Just like the washerman and hairstylist business, rendering home services has become a norm; from grocery shopping to food delivery, to cooking, cleaning, and many more.

People search for others willing to assist them with numerous services at a reasonable price.

If your meals are usually complemented because you’re a great cook, then you could cook for others as a home service, train them in cooking, clean homes and offices, run errands or become a personal grocery shopper.

Remember, there’s always a service to render, so turn your idle time into a profitable one and if things work out well for you, then someday, you might own a logistics company.

8. Bar & Restaurant

restaurant business

Just like cooking in homes, if you’ve got coolers, cooking utensils, pots, and a tiny space outside your home, then you are good at starting a mini restaurant or “Buka” as we mostly call it in this part of the world.

Just as foodstuff is a necessity in every home, and like Jesus turned five loaves and two fishes to feed the multitude, you can convert your foodstuff, little funds, and skills into a profitable business for you, by feeding and providing drinks for strangers and making a living out of it.

9. Roadside Vendor

roadside vendor

Being a roadside vendor has its pros and cons, but one thing you can’t deny is that it puts money in the pocket of those who venture into it.

From selling food to snacks, water, and drinks, biscuits and sweets, gala, stationeries, popcorn, etc, even as far as making shawarma and small chops without having a permanent structure, these businessmen and women are seen everywhere.

10. POS Business

how to start pos business in Nigeria

If you already have a shop or a physical space that you use for business, then you also become a POS agent and make some extra money.

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Or you can start a POS business in Nigeria from scratch. This is a very lucrative business you can make N3,000 to N10,000 Naira daily from.

Some of the best POS machines in Nieria are Opay POS, GTB POS, Palmpay POS, Moniepoint POS, Baxi POS and Nomba (Kudi POS).

11. Monetize Your Skill or Interest

Asides from everything listed above, one thing you should remember is this, your skill could be your main source of livelihood, but you need the right association, location, and capital to make it profitable.

Don’t wait for manna from heaven or hundreds of thousands to start a business, or cash to rent a shop, begin in your little space, and with discipline and dedication, watch it become an empire. So, if you don’t have a skill, try learning something today. I wish you all the best.

What are the Best Small Scale Business in Nigeria

Some of the best small scale businesses in Nigeria are POS Businesses, Roadside businesses, home delivery business, IT Services for MSMEs, a Bar & Restaurant business, Roadside vendors and Laundry business.

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