Small Business Ideas for Women in Nigeria

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With the country’s current situation, knowing the different small business ideas for women in Nigeria, and setting up such businesses with little or no capital is the best idea for any woman right now. This is not an article you can just glance through; we need women to move above the stereotypes holding us down in this country and build a strong business for ourselves. That is why you need to sit back, relax and open your mind to a world of possibilities- a world full of Small Business Ideas for Women.

Even the most inspired women business owners can find it difficult to decide on the right business idea.  While some entrepreneurs are fountains of fabulous ideas, unfortunately, these ideas do not get off the ground. Also, others get vague ideas, but they dump them without exploring the possibilities. Choosing and starting the right business idea has as much to do with creating a business plan and feasibility study as it does doing some deep searching. If you desire to become a self-employed woman, but you are not sure what type of business you want to start, the following questions are worth considering;

  • What do you like to do?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you need to get out of the business?
  • What would you love to learn to do?

Some answers may need the help of friends and family to get accurate answers in other to avoid being partial. For instance, you can ask your friends, what they think or know you are good at, and then weigh it with your answers.

Know what you need to get out of the business

Before we go right ahead to list out practical small business ideas for women in Nigeria that you can set up this year, it is necessary to know the reasons behind starting a business in the first place. If you are merely looking for a second income, you need to consider representing another company to sell their products or services such as gifts, cosmetics, timeshares or even insurance. You do not need a business plan or substantial amount of money to get started, and most of these jobs are pretty flexible.

However, if your motive of getting a job is to spend more time at home with your children, you can narrow the job search to jobs that will allow you to work around their schedules. Do not consider a nine-to-five job from home if raising children yourself is the ulterior goal.

Also, if your motivation boils in changing the world, or making a difference, you can create a co-op or a nonprofit organization; they can be labor intensive, but rewarding. Moreover, if you want to contribute positively to the community, you can derive personal satisfaction in volunteering with different organizations to see what you like to do most. Furthermore, volunteering is an incredible opportunity to learn how nonprofits work and expand your skills. Also, meet people who can be of help when you need to set up your business later in the future.

On the other hand, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you know- be your own boss, be financially independent, you need to be critical about your strength and weaknesses to become an entrepreneur. It is necessary to know your strength and weakness before you start any business; it will help you to be resourceful and have strong networking skills.

How business ideas can erupt from what you like to do?

You need to choose a line of business you are passionate about- starting your business will require your time, energy, and most importantly, sacrifice. If you venture into what does not interest you or pick out a business because your friends are doing it or it is trendy, you may be frustrated even before you start.

Before you pick out any of the small business ideas for women listed here, you need to ask yourself these questions;

  • Do you have a hobby that you can turn into a business?
  • Do you like to do volunteer work?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • If you could have any job you desire and still enjoy a robust pay, what would it be?

You need to determine what you are good at doing

This is where talents come into play; however, it is easier to know your field of work if your talent is obvious like an artist, musician, or a photographer.  If you already have a profession you love doing, and not what the society forced on you; you can decide to open a private firm such as medicine, accounting or a law firm.

What happens if your talents are not as apparent as the ones listed above? The truth is, everyone especially women, has a gift brewing inside. You just have to discover it, but the earlier you find out these hidden gifts, the better for you.

It is difficult sometimes to identify your strength; if you are not sure what your hidden skills are, ask your friends and family who are close to you. Realize that everyone has a marketable skill; you just have to present it to the right consumers.

Identify what you would love to learn to do

Another best way to know the right business for you is to know what interests you, what you wish to learn, and the skills you want to to have. However, a lot of us get the “starter syndrome” the zeal to start, but unable to finish it. If you know you have the discipline to complete whatever program or course you want to learn, then go right ahead. You can get someone to monitor your progress and motivate you so that you can complete the program or course.

This brings us to the next phase of this article, you have learned about the different factors of starting a small business, the next stage will answer the question: what are the practical small business ideas any woman can start in Nigeria?

Below is the list of ideas that any woman can turn into a mega company if you are ready to start small of course.

Picking kids from school

Picking kids from school

The first on our list is School runs, a lot of family in Nigeria do not have time to pick up their kids from school because of their tight schedules at work. You can take advantage of this by bringing their kids from school. Although, this idea requires you to own an automobile; a minivan is preferable for the job. So if you have a “free” vehicle that is just lying there without adding to your source of income, you can turn it into one.

Many parents are looking for someone they can trust to pick their kids from school if you know you love this kind of business, and you do not mind moving from schools to schools to get kids, this may be the business you’ve been waiting for. You can contact parents in your neighborhood, pitch your school runs idea to them and start your business.

However, if you do not have the time to do it yourself, but have the money to start the business, you can buy a school bus and lease it to a school.

You can start with your vehicle or hire a bus driver (use your imagination). You can also buy a school bus and lease it out to a new school around you. This is also a good source of residual income because the school will take care of the vehicle. You only need to wait while they remit agreed-upon returns to your account.

Local food restaurant (Mama Put)

mama put

The second small business idea for women in Nigeria was culled from the best small business ideas in 2018. One of the things that never go out of fashion is a restaurant. No matter how modernize this world becomes, we must eat. Food is one of the life’s necessities. As Nigerians begin to welcome the western world, the desire to eat a well-cooked Naija homemade food becomes unquenchable.  Women can take advantage of this trend. Everyone loves food that reminds them of home, and if you have culinary skills and the passion for preparing homemade meals, why not turn it into a business?

The need to eat from Mama put joints always on the increase; as long as there are people in this country, your business will never go out of style (only if you know how to cook the Nigerian style).

We love our local foods- I am not referring to continental dishes you find in fancy restaurants, I am talking about Naija delicacies, like Owo/garden egg sauce and plantain/yam, Jollof rice, pounded yam, starch, eba, fufu, amala and with any delicious Nigerian soup such as egusi, okra, ewedu, banga, oha, ofe n’sala, ogbono, vegetable or black soup. If you are ready to prepare foods for your community that will make them remember the good old days, your restaurant will never run out of hungry customers.

However, this business may not be suitable for you if you do not want to rent office space for your business. You will need a space to attend to your customers, although it is cheaper compared to owning a continental restaurant.

Furthermore, if you do not want to run the business yourself, you can hire a local chef who knows her root, and how to prepare different delicacies. You supply the capital, while you hire people who can run the business for you.

You can use your literacy to your advantage, many women who venture into the Mama Put business are educated, and you can use your mental prowess to sway clients from all walks of life into your restaurant.

Hot Akara (Bean cake) joint

Akara joint

Akara and bread one of Nigerians’ favorite breakfasts, if you know how many women have trained their children with this business. If you know how to fry akara, sell good akamu (pap) alongside with fresh bread, you will win the heart of many in your neighborhood.

Unfortunately, many young, educated women see this job as demeaning; what they forget to understand is that you can package your hot akara joint. Why not be different? You can use your educated wisdom to make your own akara joint different from the roadside sellers. It is all about packaging; so don’t be scared of doing what you love.

What to put into considerations before opening this business;

If you are interested in owning Mama Put or Akara joint, you need to consider the following things to ensure you do not take the wrong steps.

  • Ensure your business center is convenient for vehicles, cycling and as well, as foot traffic.
  • Be ready to offer a pleasant atmosphere, and reception to your customers; there are several mama put joints out there, but a majority of them lack professional customer support. You can take advantage of this by making your joint homely to all. If you want to employ a few workers, ensure you teach them the concept of “the customer is king.”
  • Be ready to serve high-quality homemade local foods
  • Forget the competition; do not attempt to compete with fast-food outlets, or old joints- be unique.
  • Have a passion for what you do, if not you may give up even before you start

However, if you cannot afford to rent a place, you can turn your joint to a mobile mama put; serve specialties like good homemade Moi-Moi (beans pudding) ekusu (corn pudding), etc. However, ensure you set a particular time, it will make people get to know and love what you do. Although this idea is not suitable for women aiming to open an Akara joint, on the bright side, you do not need an ample space to fry and sell akara. If you have questions on Mama Put business, kindly leave a comment, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Rental business

Rental business may not sound small, but if you can do it. This type of business involves leasing out party chairs and tables for people organizing ceremonies for a fee. If you are in no rush to start earning money, you can start a rental business to generate passive income. As long as people keep getting married, celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, etc. you rental business will not go out of style.

Catering

catering

Catering is entirely different from owning a local food restaurant and akara joint. It is much broader than the two listed above. Nonetheless, it is a good business because people will always eat. If you love to cook, you can once again turn your passion into a lucrative venture. You do not need to save a substantial amount of money before you can start a catering business. Ensure you know how to cook because catering is one of the firms that advertise itself. If you are good at what you are doing, people will come for you. Ensure you do your assignments before opening for business. Unlike Mama Put, you can choose to start indoor catering services or both. Learn more about catering services, the foods customers love to have in their parties, or meetings.

Event Planning

If you are passionate about organizing events and you are good at what you do. You can turn it into a business; many people do not have the time to plan their wedding ceremonies, baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. you can help them to bring their fantasies to realities. The good thing is, you do not need to rent office space, you can be in your home and people will come to you.

However, it is advised to take some few lessons on how to effectively plan events, in order to master the craft. Remember, people trust their special days to you, you have no option than to make the days memorable for your clients.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FCMG) Distribution

Fast moving consumer goods, which includes tissue, detergents, soap, noodles, and so on gives women opportunities to earn money. These companies are looking for distributors who can distribute their products to customers. If you love marketing and interacting with people, being an FMCG distributor sounds like a good idea. You can connect with any of the company and register as one of their distributors.

Furthermore, it is easier to locate such companies when you live in states like Lagos, Port Harcourt or any countries that have a lot of fast-moving consumer goods. These products are mostly household items, which sell very fast. The business is an all-around season, but it may be stressful at first; with time, you will be able to handle it only if it is what you are passionate about.

Fashion design

Fashion design

This is another fantastic business any woman can start, just as you cannot live without eating, you cannot live without wearing clothes. If you have the passion for fashion, why don’t you start your own clothing line?

However, this business is saturated all over the world, and it takes real talent, or skills to stay at the top. You need more than the thread and needle knowledge in order to be a successful designer. Take the pain to enroll yourself in one of the big fashion school close to you, ensure you maximize every time you learn there. Once again, your designs speak for you, master your skills and become a star in your field.

Furthermore, if you do not have the time to learn this trade, you can as well opt to outsource your jobs to professional tailors around you. You can get cloth makers to make your designers, and then add your label to each ready-to-wear clothes and then sell. This type of fashion designer is possible, all you need to do is to get the designs, take it to the cloth makers, and then market your products once they are through with them.

Bead making

Bead making

Bead making has been trending for a very long time, and it is not getting ready to go out of fashion anytime soon. If you love making beads, you can turn it into a passive income. Many women wear beads to wedding ceremonies, child dedication, etc. you can do it straight from your home.

Pastry/Cake Shop

Cake Shop

If baking is your passion, why not open a confectionary shop in your neighborhood where everyone can order fresh-baked pastries from your shop? Children, as well as adults, love sweet foods such as sausage rolls, doughnuts, pizza, shawarma, cake, burger, sandwich, etc.

Agriculture

Agriculture

Agriculture is one of my favorite business ideas; it is a lucrative business any woman can start. From snail farming, poultry, goat rearing, to cassava, plantain, banana, etc. agriculture is the new goldmine, unfortunately, not every woman loves to take farming as a profession. However, you can decide to buy the produces from farmers, and reproduce it into more refined products. Such as beans flour, plantain chips, cassava flour, frozen meats, etc.

Own a daycare

Own a daycare

If you are going to be a stay-at-home mom, you can as well turn it into a business. If you do not mind taking care of other people’s kids at home, you can turn what you love into a money-making machine. It means your children will have friends to play and learn with; secondly, you get to stay at home and make money. Isn’t it fantastic?

However, if you cannot handle many crying babies, it is better you move on to the next business idea. Do not force it, if you cannot handle it, get another business to do.

Mini importation

Although it is saturated, you can still earn money from mini importation. All you need to do is to check what your community is lacking per time and order it. Once again, you need to be a good marketer before you can succeed in this business.

Private labeling

This type of business is similar to those outsourcing your designs to professional tailors to make your clothes for you while you take credit (put your label). However, private labeling is not limited to just clothes alone. You can design virtually anything from household items to kiddies’ toys, etc., and give the designs to manufacturers to create for you.

The good thing about private labeling is you do not stress over factory equipment, site, capital (except the fees you pay to the manufactures to produce your design for you). Most people travel to China to get whatever they want to produce; they design, take the blueprint to China for production, and then bring it to Nigeria for marketing.

Blogging

Blogging

If you love to write, and you do not mind waiting for so long before you start getting paid. Then blogging may be for you. Yes, I know there a lot of bloggers out there, and the market is pretty much discouraging especially when there are a lot of plagiarized contents. There is still room for you! You can be different, probably let your blogging be about baby product reviews or household items which will help women, especially mothers. Think of anything you are good at; it may be cooking; you can write about recipes, share your pictures of you preparing a peculiar delicacy, etc.

Blogging is profitable; however, you need to be patient with it because it takes a while to earn something out of it. You can start earning money in countless ways as soon as you establish your blog, and you attract a lot of consistent traffic.

It takes time, consistency, and unique articles before you attract traffic to your blog, that is why it is necessary to create a niche you enjoy writing about to avoid getting discouraged along the way.

Online retail shop

If you prefer working online and maximizing the benefit of the internet, an online retail shop may be the perfect business for you. You can take buying and selling, to the next level by creating an online store where buyers and sellers can transact business together. If you do not want to build your online store, you can as well take your products to already established online stores such as Jumia, Konga, and Kaymu. These online stores have already built everything you need to conduct a successful business transaction with your customers. How do you o about it? Register in any of the online stores you know, showcase your products (ensure the picture quality are top-notch) add a price tag, and once you get a customer, deliver the product to the location. Yes, it is that simple.

Drop shipping

Drop shipping is an online business you can start and run from your home. It is similar to the online retail shop, but it has its own unique qualities. For instance, you do not necessarily need to own the product you are purchasing. All you have to do is to advertise products sold by someone else, and when a customer orders from you, you buy from the third party and send the product to the customer. In drop shipping, you stand as a middleman between the manufacturer and the consumer unlike owning a retail shop where you have the products.

Affiliate marketing

This is another small business idea for women;  as a woman, we do a lot of marketing without realizing it. We share recommend products to friends and family-and sometimes strangers without getting paid for it. Affiliate marketing is a process of getting a commission by advertising or promoting other people’s products. It is quite similar to drop shipping- all you need to do is get a product, promote and get a part of the profit for each sale that comes through you.

Unlike drop shipping, you need to go through an affiliate network, such as Jumia, or Konga, earn a percentage from the profit if people actually buy through your link.

It works other way round too, if you have a product, and want more sales, you can offer promoters a financial incentive via an affiliate program. If you do not have a product, but still want to get some commission from other people’s products, you can apply to be an affiliate marketer in any of the affiliate network you know, and then start promoting the products to earn money.

Freelancing

One of the quickest ways to start earning online is through freelancing. If you know you have mad skills you can render online, turn it into a business. For instance, if you are a web developer, web designer, graphic designer, video editor, writing, etc. sites like Fiverr, Freelancer, or Upwork can really be of assistance to you.

Conclusion

The above listed can fetch money for anyone who wishes to start a business, nonetheless, what works for A may not necessarily work for B. passion, diligence, hard work as well as common sense is what you need to become a successful business owner. Furthermore, there is nothing new under the sun; any business you do today was created by someone else, and probably several people are already doing the same business. You need packaging, excellent customer support to attract buyers to your business.

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