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Starting business in Nigeria

Starting a business in Nigeria is not easy, especially if you don't know what you want to do. Here are the fastest-growing Nigerian businesses, from snail farming to petroleum products trading. After reading this list, you will know how to take the first step toward a successful and highly profitable business.  The pandemic has not…

PHOTO: Omotayo Tajudeen/UNSPLASH

Starting a business in Nigeria is not easy, especially if you don’t know what you want to do. Here are the fastest-growing Nigerian businesses, from snail farming to petroleum products trading. After reading this list, you will know how to take the first step toward a successful and highly profitable business. 

The pandemic has not stopped the flow of capital investments into startups with African roots: news about new deals with international and local investors appears every month. Today, one in five sub-Saharan Africans lives in Nigeria. The country’s population is growing annually by 2-3%, with a large proportion being young, ambitious, and increasingly educated.

How to do it right
But foreigners that would like to do business in Nigeria must remember three important things. First, be very careful in choosing a partner. The biggest mistake a foreign can make is an incompetent or dishonest distributor. Even working with a reliable local firm can be a failure if there are insufficient incentives.

The mistaken belief that a business model tried elsewhere will automatically bring success in Nigeria. Africa is a continent with problems that do not exist elsewhere.

Running a Nigerian business remotely is the third common mistake foreigners make. Companies succeed only when they become Nigerian and the locals perceive their brands as their own.

We highly recommend you read about the Shared Value Africa Initiative before you start.

If you decide to open a company in Nigeria in 2021, you should consider the following most-promising business areas: oil production and refining, food processing, light industry, construction, medicine, IT, transport, tourism.

Small Business Ideas in Nigeria
Mining
One of the top business priorities in Africa in 2021 is investing in mining. To a large extent, the untapped and untapped potential that Africa is endowed with has become a magnet that attracts investors interested in establishing a mining company in Africa.
Agro-products export
Nigeria is endowed with plenty of food and natural resources, and most of these natural resources are the raw materials needed to produce some finished products.

Every day tons of raw materials and food leave Nigeria’s shores for countries such as India, Vietnam, China, the United States, Great Britain, Brazil, etc.

You can become an exporter simply by registering with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and determining what kind of product you want to export.

Livestock
The main reason I named catfish farming as one of the fastest-growing business opportunities in Nigeria is that it is a growing industry that has not yet reached its peak or full potential.

The major players in this business are usually regional players. Essentially, this means that each major player in the catfish breeding industry is focused only on a certain area of the business within the geographic location of the farm.

Sewing clothes
Nigeria also has many military (army, air force, navy), paramilitary (civil defense corps, police force), and non-military (road safety, traffic warden, anti-discipline, rebel groups, etc.) Organizations. that use uniforms. You can position yourself as a single provider and make money from it.

Inland transportation
There are many opportunities in the transportation industry.

Auto transport is always on demand. Rental service is a huge niche that is always in demand of new players in the market. It could be even SUV rental services as it is provided at SUV car rental in Dubai, or it could be a taxi or inland bus communication business.

Electronic services
Nigeria is catching up with the rest of the world when it comes to technology. If you have a penchant for technology, you can set up a store in Nigeria and start offering electronic services to customers.

IT
Africa is experiencing a technology boom: the rapid penetration of the Internet and mobile technology makes this region increasingly interesting for IT entrepreneurs, despite the specificity and heterogeneity of the market. Therefore, both Facebook and Google are interested in connecting as many Nigerians as possible to the Internet. In particular, Facebook is now experimenting a lot with drones that will transmit the Internet to remote Nigerian villages. The IT boom on the Nigerian market is a matter of a few years.

FinTech
FinTech is one of the new and rapidly growing industries in Africa. It involves the use of technology to support and provide banking and financial services. Financial technology is popular in Africa right now because financial services are a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the continent.

Final thoughts 
The UN predicts that Nigeria’s population will exceed 300 million by 2045. This makes it a promising market to start your business.

Of course, in the first step, you will need a strong partner-guide who knows the region and the business community well. Many companies work in Nigeria with local partners: they better understand the specifics of the market and they don’t have cultural barriers.

However, as soon as you get involved, you will understand that Nigeria is the most promising for your business. Entering the African market is now a very reasonable decision, investments in the region will be rewarded in spades. Today there are practically no entry barriers for business, and in a few decades the continent will become more saturated and it will become more difficult to enter it.