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Nigeria Business Opportunities

Things to consider before starting a fashion business in Nigeria: Educate Yourself: This is probably the first thing you should do. Take a short course in clothing and textiles. Learn the difference between organza and taffeta or a sweetheart neckline and a boat neckline. Learn what it means for fabric to be ‘cut on the bias’, basic color blending and what fabric can be mixed with another. Knowing how to sketch is also a very important aspect of fashion designing. Knowing how to properly represent a client’s idea of an outfit on paper will always score you extra points. There are lots of online websites where you can learn fashion drawing for free.

Experience: Gain experience in the business before plunging right into it, risking your money and time. Perhaps by discussing with a friend who is into fashion as well you can learn a few things. I personally recommend interning with a fashion designer. That way you get first-hand knowledge on what it is really like behind the scene and you also get to forge strong friendships that would help you when you eventually launch your line.

Do The Math: Do you have available funds, are you financially stable? Do you want to apply for a loan from the bank? Do you want to borrow money from friends and family to start up your business? Or do you want your friends and family to invest in your business as partners? Do you plan on starting out in your house and then branching out into a rented store later on? You have to take into consideration the cost of rent and diesel or petrol for your generator as one cannot rely on PHCN. Or do you want to have an online store?

Work Out the Logistics: Do you want to hire some of our highly talented Eastern brothers and set them up in a warehouse? Or do you want to go all out and send your designs to China or India to be produced? Every fashion designer or high street line has to have its own individual essence that makes it stand out. Just as Jewel by Lisa is usually bedazzled and has the youthful flair or Ituen Basi is known for her patchwork and fringed dresses so also should your clients be able to tell your designs when they see it. Know your target market. You cannot produce skin hugging dresses mini dresses and expect Nigerian women in their 30s to be flocking into your store.

Advertising/PR: You need PR to ensure word on your line gets out to the right people, to make sure you are interviewed by the right people and to make sure you get invited to the right fashion shows and parties. This way you meet loads of people and make valuable connections. This will ensure your entry into the fashion scene is marginally easier. Also getting the right modeling agency to provide models for your fashion show.

Most importantly you have to be dedicated and truly passionate to last in the fashion industry. Underneath all the glamour and hot buds is sheer dedication and hard work. By the way I am not saying that you have to follow these exact rules for guaranteed success. You could always start out in your boys-quarters or better still sketch what you want to sew, send it along with fabric to your tailor in Mushin, put your own label on it and the get your skinny tall friends to model the clothes for you. For advertising, you could just make a twitter account and a Facebook account for your line and harass people to rewet and like your pages and frustrate people by sending Blackberry broadcasts three times a day. It is way cheaper.

Agricultural Sector 1. Catfish and Poultry Farming

The first of the fastest growing business opportunities in Nigeria is catfish farming. The primary reason I listed catfish farming as one of the fastest business opportunities in Nigeria is because it’s an emerging industry that hasn’t reached its peak or full potential. The major players in this business are usually regional players. What this means in essence is that each major player in the catfish farming industry is focused only on a particular business terrain within the geographical location of the farm.

So all you need to do is look for a region with a growing demand that haven’t been covered by a major player and situate your business there. As for poultry farming, the ban imposed by the federal government of Nigeria with respect to the importation of live or frozen poultry birds has only helped explode the demand. Snail farming is also another under-exploited money maker.

When accessing any of these business opportunities listed above, you must note three important facts. One, food is one of the basic necessities of man, thus making catfish, snail and poultry farming a huge potential. Two is that the population in Nigeria is estimated to be over 150 million and growing so that entails a growing demands for food. Three is that even if the local market with 150 million Nigerians gets saturated (which I strongly doubt as this niche is still in its adolescent phase), there’s still a growing demand for catfish all over the world. So do your own in-depth analysis and put your money to work.

However, you are free to use our own analysis and research on How to Start a Poultry Farm.

Textiles Sector 2. Importation of wears Importation of clothes (designer wears) into Nigeria is another fast growing business opportunity. Update: The ban on importation has been lifted by the federal government of Nigeria.

Another reason I listed the importation of wears as one of the fastest growing business opportunities in Nigeria is because the ban cut short its supply thereby leaving a gap of demand that can only be filled by brave entrepreneurs. Please don’t assume I am trying to hype you or something; I am a player in this line majoring mainly in men designer wears which is imported from China and India. I source corporate wears from Hong Kong because of the quality of their finished product. Enough said.

3. Sewing of specialized uniforms If you don’t have the entrepreneurial guts to go into the importation of wears; then you can set up a small scale textile firm that will specialize in sewing uniforms. The demand for uniforms is on the increase in Nigeria; from the crèche to the labor market, uniforms are highly in demand but it’s advisable you do your own detailed research before venturing into the business.

Transportation Sector 4. Inland water way transport Inland water way transport is one of the fastest growing business opportunities in Nigeria. In fact, I believe the niche is still untapped because I am yet to see a modern commercial boat or ferry service system in Nigeria. Though there are a few operators in this industry; I am yet to see the modern facilities being used by the developed countries.

Another reason inland water way transport business proves viable is because population in states such as Lagos, Ogun state and Rivers is rapidly on the rise thereby resulting in the congestion of roads. Since the roads are becoming heavily congested; the next means of transportation the inhabitants of these heavily populated states will resort to is water transport. With proper planning, a good management team and adequate funding, you can break into this untapped industry and carve a niche for your business. 5. Haulage and logistics Haulage and logistics is another fastest growing business opportunity in Nigeria. Though it’s considered a risky business; you can breakthrough if you have a strategic business management team on ground. Good management is the key to surviving in the business of haulage and logistics.

6. Outsourced bus service This is similar to haulage and logistics but the cargo in this case is humans. I am not talking about the regular road transport bus service; in fact, I don’t think I have seen the idea for this business been utilized by anyone.

Now in this case, you are providing transportation services to firms and corporate entities. Some corporate organizations can’t afford an in-house transport system for its executives and staff, so this is where you come in. You provide the cars or buses, provide the drivers and you are paid on a monthly bases or contract bases for the use of your transport services.

Another area of target is schools. Most schools would like to provide transport facilities for their students but they can’t afford it and this is where you come in. You provide a bus service system and send out a proposal to schools to use your bus services. Just imagine 20 or more young schools jointly using your student bus service system and you will catch the vision of this idea.

Information and Communication Technology

When it comes to ICT, I will say Nigeria is lagging behind when compared to the western world. It may sound like bad news to you but to entrepreneurs and investors, it is good news. ICT is still an emerging trend that hasn’t reached its peak so a lot of opportunities exist for both local and foreign investors. I won’t go into the capital intensive business opportunities that exist in the ICT sector; rather, I will stick with small and medium scale business opportunities.

7. Cyber Café

The demand to stay connected to the rest of the world is rapidly on the increase and the cost of internet connection is still on the high side when compared to what is obtainable in the western world, thereby making cyber café an alternative for internet users; and an investment opportunity for entrepreneurs. This business can be started either on a small, medium or large scale but I will prefer a large scale because size can be a competitive edge for you in this business as customers won’t like to be kept waiting. Customers of this industry want speed and efficient service and most importantly; they want to be sure to find a vacant computer system anytime they want to surf the web without having to wait in line. If you can get a good location; provide speedy internet access and provide complementary services; you are in for a breakthrough. 8. E-Services

Just as the world is going e-crazy; so also is Nigeria catching up with the trend. E-services provision is still a virgin business opportunity that hasn’t fully been tapped. Under the umbrella of providing e-services; you can find the following fast growing business opportunities: E-payment, bulk Sms services, web design and hosting, database management services, e-portal management, etc.


The need for education is on the increase and the burden to provide quality education is getting heavier for the government to bear thereby, leaving room for private and institutional investors. The following are ways you can tap into the potential opportunity. 9. Schools

A lot of institutional and private investors have gone into building quality schools and providing quality education but the potential has not been reached. With a population of over 150 million Nigerians, where 65% are below 40; there’s still untapped potential in this niche. You can access this business opportunity from different entry levels. You can tap into this niche by providing either crèche, primary, secondary or tertiary education but all entry levels holds strong potential. Please carry out your own analysis before investing in any level of this business opportunity.

10. Seminars

Not everyone loves being educated within four walls of school. Some prefer street smart education or high speed learning and that’s where you come in. You can set up a seminar company that organizes coaching services according to the current needs and trends of the society.

11. Training centers

Specialized training or educational centers is another fast growing yet untapped business opportunity in Nigeria. Examples of specialized learning centers are Leadership training schools, entrepreneurial centers, training center for the gifted and physically challenged, training center for hobbies and crafts, etc. 12. Tutorial centers With the proliferation of academic and professional exams, tutorial centers have joined the list of fastest growing business opportunities in Nigeria. You can access this business opportunity by choosing or specializing on a training need. You can focus your proposed tutorial center on any of the following: ICAN, GMAT, WAEC, JAMB, GSCE, CIS, job interview training, etc.

Green Energy and Technology

With a global increase in the awareness of environmental degradation and its hazard, the world has resorted to finding an alternative “green energy.” Nigeria is not left out in this global awareness that has created massive opportunities for smart entrepreneurs and investors. If you feel green is the next business trend on board, then below are the fastest growing business opportunities in the green energy and technology sector of Nigeria.

13. Waste management

With an increased awareness in the need for environmental conservation; opportunity has popped up in Nigeria in the area of waste management. When analyzing the waste management business opportunity, I observed that two factors are responsible for the potential in the business and you must make sure these two factors are in place before deciding on an area of service.

One is a bursting population and the second is a strong environmental policy and its enforcement. So far, two states in Nigeria that has taken the lead with respect to these two factors and these states are Lagos and Imo state. But I believe great potential still lie in other states of Nigeria. Do your own personal research before venturing into this industry.

14. Waste recycling

The next fastest growing business, yet untapped business opportunity in Nigeria is waste recycling. I don’t need to expatiate on this as the details are clear. You can venture into either bottle and can recycling or nylon recycling. You can even embark on a waste to green (manure) project as Nigeria has a huge demand for organic and inorganic fertilizer.

15. Alternative power

The last but not the least of the fastest growing business opportunities in Nigeria is alternative power supply. In recent times; Nigeria has seen an explosive increase in the demand of power supply thus creating an avenue for smart entrepreneurs to capitalize on. Solar energy, Wind energy and bio energy are some of the alternative power supply system that are currently making waves in the country but the present alternative power supply service providers cannot meet up the demand thereby leaving room for other creative investors. With a good plan, adequate capital and a strong business team; you can break into this niche.

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