Setting up a business is not for mere dreamers; and entrepreneurship is definitely not a simple game of cards. You might have some N50,000 somewhere and you need ideas about which viable business to invest it in, but you might ask: is it enough? Do I have the passion to pursue it? With the economic challenges in Nigeria as we speak, it would require perseverance, faith, some sacrifice and wisdom for a Nigerian entrepreneur to scale through and succeed – but making it in business is clearly possible.
There are even claims by some people in the diaspora that compared to foreign countries, it is a lot easier to set up and prosper as a business owner in Nigeria than in places like Europe. With that in mind, what profitable businesses can you set up with N50,000 in hand? The list below presents just a few of the numerous business outlets you can explore with that N50,000 and – if you are determined (and shrewd enough) – you can start making meaningful profits within a year or two. Let’s examine the following businesses and their utility for a startup capital of N50,000:
10 Businesses you can start with 50k in Nigeria
- Selling raw foodstuff
- Soap production
- Catering, snacks and cake business
- Juices, smoothies and drinks production
- Processed & packaged organic foods
- Organic hair & skin care products
- Ice cream, chocolate and yoghurt production
- Plantain & potato chips production
- Photography & videography
Selling Raw Foodstuff
We all know that no human being can survive without food. In a worst case scenario, everyone must hustle to eat at least once or twice daily. No matter the condition, people will constantly demand for foodstuff – fruits, vegetables, soup ingredients, basics like rice, yam, beans, garri, name it. You only need to choose a location where people can easily see the food items you offer for sale – whether you rent or lend some space along a busy road, a bus stop, or other spots with good human traffic. You can easily start foodstuff business even without owning a shop. And of course be a bit wary of selling on credit unless to tested and trusted persons; and prepare to protect your goods from unpredictable weather or sudden events.
There has always been a high demand for cleaning materials such as soaps and detergents in Nigerian homes. Even schools, offices, various businesses, health centers, corporate organizations must constantly clean up their environment, or have their clients clean their hands after using toilet facilities (more critically needed now with the events following the COVID 19 pandemic). You will have noticed the increased price of detergents and soaps in the market already, so if you know (or can research to find out) the right materials you can combine together with your palm oil (or vegetable oil), lye and water – the basic ingredients for soap; or the right chemicals to produce a good liquid or dry detergent and market it to people around town, you have a ready market waiting for you. In fact you will need far less than that N50,000 to start off soap production.
Catering Snacks and Cake Business
Thumbs up to you if you are a trained baker, caterer or master chef/cook. Several persons who are not even certified bakers or caterers can now learn so many food and snack recipes from the internet and cookery books. So I urge you to turn your baking and cookery knowledge into profit. You can specialize in baking cakes for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries only (or well, I can eat it in my leisure time too!).
You may choose to expand the variety, and produce delicious snacks and treats such as banana bread, scotch egg, meat pies, burgers, and the lot (or even finger snacks/small chops). Or you may start out cooking eatery or party food; local delicacies have been known to make millionaires out of hired cooks. Along the line, you will need to hire helping hands or fellow contractors in the catering and baking business. All these can be carefully planned starting with some cooking tools, and a bit of focused marketing and branding out of that N50,000 startup capital.
Juice, Smoothies and Drinks Production
As the crave for organic foods and drinks continue to increase across Nigeria because of the need for quality nutrition, producing and neatly packaging fruit juices; fruit and vegetable smoothies; and local drinks (such as sorrel/hibiscus drink or zobo, kunu, soya milk etc.) for sale is a welcome idea. More people are turning to naturally-sourced drinks to reduce sugar and alcohol consumption, away from alcoholic beverages and aerated soft drinks. If you have enough clean home space or a good location, you only need to get some pots, tools, bowls, ingredients, juicers (a manual juicer for a start) for a total amount likely less than N50,000 at the onset. You may choose to refrigerate them as well for quick consumption. Then market your product to individuals and store owners, on and off the internet. You will be proud you did it.
Also Read- Top 10 Lucrative Businesses In Nigeria
Processed & Packaged Organic Foods
Organic foods processing and packaging is an extension of the foodstuff industry which has become very lucrative and desirable to the city dwellers, because processed and packaged organic foods are hygienic, nutritious, and last for much longer time. In fact, it reduces food wastage. There are endless choices of what organic food items you can choose to package and sell to a wide spectrum of people: rich, middle class, poor, educated and uneducated. For example, you may package any of the following food items for sale:
- Washed, chopped and dried vegetables such as pumpkin leaves, water leaf or Ewedu;
- Oven-roasted or dried meat/cow hide/fish;
- Beans flour, corn flour, yam flour, potato flour, poundo yam etc;
- Dried fruits and nuts;
- Palm oil & vegetable oil;
- Dried and/or ground pepper;
- Ground spices;
to mention some common ones. The list is not exhaustive. And customers will hasten to buy them once they have seen the quality of your produce and how neat the packaging is. Depending on which type of food processing/preservation method your food items require, you can buy the necessary equipment (such as a dehydrator or moderately-sized local oven, and other materials) out of that N50,000 you have. Use some of the remaining money to buy neat transparent nylon packs or containers, print clear labels, get a nylon sealing machine. You can stand by the roadside to market your product to passersby using baskets or temporary tables for a start, and introduce your products to the owners of stores and supermarkets till you can get your own shop.
Organic Hair & Skin Care Products
Lots of Nigerian women do not joke with their hair and skin health. And after years of using chemical products on their skin with very dissatisfying results, so many women have eagerly turned to organic skin care products for relief. For you to thrive in this business, you will need to be trained in sourcing for the ingredients and mixing them correctly. Both the training, and getting those ingredients, can be conveniently done within that budget of N50,000. Also, you may decide not merely to focus on adults – even men can benefit from organic skin care – but also create a product line for children and infants (which is getting more popular).
Ice Cream, Chocolate and Yoghurt Production
Just as we said earlier concerning organic drinks, another seriously healthy alternative to carbonated soft drinks and alcoholic beverages would be yoghurt, chocolate drink, and fruit ice creams. If you have ever tasted fruit popsicles, banana (or other fruit) ice cream, cold chocolate drinks or cold yoghurt, sincerely they taste like heaven. Would you not rather take these healthy drinks than indulge in energy drinks or carbonated soft drinks that endanger the health? More people are becoming exposed to information about the nutritional value of all these drinks, and the need to choose organic. Definitely you can start producing and marketing your yoghurt, chocolate, and fruit ice creams to people both young and old, with some fresh ingredients and a few tools out of that N50,000 initial capital.
Plantain & Potato Chips Production
Tell me you do not like plantains and potatoes because they taste too sweet, and I would very much doubt you. Because if you don’t like them cooked, you would definitely enjoy them fried, or in snack form! Plantain and potato chips have become insanely popular snacks in Nigeria for decades (if not centuries!). Especially plantain chips. Whether you choose one or both, they are seriously lucrative.
You will find street hawkers, kiosk and provision shop sellers, stores, and supermarkets conspicuously displaying plantain and potato chips well packaged in nylon wrappers or plastic containers everywhere. Kids and adults love them. And they keep well for quite long. Also, they require very few additional ingredients. A few tools and cooking utensils, some fuel, cooking oil, maybe an oven, and the proper way to prepare them – is all you need to turn your favourite ripe or unripe plantain, or potato, into a money spinner – all of them affordable with N50,000 or less for a start.
Photography & Videography
Photographers and video production experts have been traditionally recruited for years to take photographs or record videos at events, on movie sets, television stations, produce passport photos, take aerial photos or videos of places, or produce adverts. And now they are getting busy with social media content, both video and still pictures. A well-written and engaging content backed with fun videos or pictures can attract loads of potential customers to a website or a social media page. So if you are trained in photography and/or videography, you are free to choose either to work as an independent contractor or paid employee with organisations ready to pay you for a well-planned video content or visual storytelling. You can still get the training and some startup equipment with that N50,000 you have.
Drop shipping is a method of selling goods on behalf of a manufacturer or wholesaler, without necessarily buying them with your own money. You are simply the intermediary advertising the products on your online store, website or social media page. You receive orders from interested customers, and forward both the orders and the customer’s money to the supplier/manufacturer. The supplier will send the goods directly to the customer. You make your gain by setting your own convenient price for each product above the original wholesale or cost price.
You are only required to send the wholesale or cost price and the shipping fees to the supplier, out of the money sent by the customer. The rest of the money becomes your gain. There are now dropshipping and e-commerce sites that offer to help you build your own custom designed ‘store’ where you can display the chosen products for sale – with a reasonably small setup cost, or no cost at all. So it is very possible to work with just N50,000 or less and make profit as a dropshipper.
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