Chinedu Nwaigene February 1, 2016
Business idea

Starting great business ideas in Nigeria is the ultimate opportunity for brilliant entrepreneurs to take advantage of the large market and fast growing economy in creating an impact that will better the life of people and increase Job opportunities.

In Nigeria, a lot of people are interested in finding a unique big business idea while some seek low capital businesses, others want to try something different that will impact positively to the economy and employ thousands of graduates. The new trend of entrepreneurship does not lie in having or maintaining a common business but by changing constantly with technology and devising new measures and ways to satisfy the consumer wants and needs. As consumers preferences changes, so will your idea and approach about business in Nigeria is expected to change.

Most booming businesses I have witnessed in Nigeria are mainly foreign companies taking hold of the opportunities, cheap labor cost, and the huge population advantage of Nigerians in growing their revenues and it is sad that they forward their profits back to their parents company (country). But this time, I believe things will be done differently and many start-ups businesses will emerge with amazing innovative principles to solve our ailing problems or find an opportunity to do things better. I will share these great business ideas freely to everyone as you can start your business in any city in Nigeria including but not limited to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Enugu, Awka etc. I have shared earlier, many small business ideas one can start in Nigeria with low capital and this time I am sharing a classic and unique big business idea one can start and extend it to other African countries if executed correctly.
Action is the most required ingredients in getting things done and having an idea is just the first step while implementing the idea is the main focus. Below are great business ideas you can start in Nigeria this 2016.

Top 7 Business Ideas in Nigeria for 2017

1. Technology

Tech business is a new trend in the world and fast growing business opportunity with many start-ups businesses that has achieved a billion dollar milestone after few years of start. The most growing tech business are located in USA, India, China, UK, Russia and one would ask why is that so. The simple answer is that those countries have a large population of people who will subscribe to the business before the company can extend to other countries. While the later will be their ability to learn coding and a good government support programme. In Nigeria, we have the same population with the advantage of even extending to our West African counterparts at ease, but people are not taking hold of these opportunities. Some of the big tech businesses you can start in Nigeria are;

  • Apps

Creating an app that can easily connect manufacturers and retailers then bridging the gap of the wholesalers is a classic billion dollar idea. This is the kind of idea that will disrupt the market and people who don’t understand this idea will criticize it while there is a need to remove the middle man and ensure that retailers get the best price from Manufacturers in Nigeria which will reduce the price of all commodities in Nigeria and benefit consumers the most. It’s BILLION DOLLAR IDEA.

  • Social Media

Many people assume that big companies like Facebook, Twitter, Likedin etc. has taken the market of Social media but believe me, they are doing well but there is a need for a regional targeted social media websites. Just like those in China started such as Wechat, Line etc. and it has gained millions of users in China, Vietnam, Korea and Southeast Asian countries so will your social media gain attraction in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory coast and to other South African countries. In such business, branding makes the difference and allowing your Social medial website/apps to do many things like help people locate police stations nearby, hospitals, hotels, restaurants etc. will absolutely bring an awesome experience to the users.
If you can start this technology business with a clear classified business plan, you will be surprised how many investors around the world will contact you for partnership and raise more money to aid with your business idea. It is not about having the fantasy; you need the will to take actions immediately before someone else do.

2. Manufacturing

Manufacturing has been neglected mostly in Nigeria because of the lack of credible information and while people travel to China to export many products, they lack the will to start one in Nigeria. Manufacturing contributed a lot in the Mainland Chinese economy and they become a great exporting country and this was feasible because of the population, low tax and cheap labor which forced many American companies to go to china and build their factories. The same can be done in Nigeria if the local Nigerians can take hold of this opportunity and stop giving frivolous excuses why they could not do this or that. TAKE ACTIONS. Solution comes to those that have challenges and not those that sit at their comfort zones. Some big Manufacturing projects you can start in Nigeria are;

  • Papers

Paper is a thin material produced by pressing moist fibers of cellulose pulp derived from woods, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets. Nigeria has the huge resources to produce different categories of papers. With our huge land space and ability to engage in afforestation and deforestation easily especially in the southern part of the country is one of the reason why someone has to do the needful. The companies that produce papers are not more than three in the whole Africa and none is in Nigeria. In parts of Edo state along Okene, people cut down trees in same sizes and shape and load it daily in lorries heading to be exported to foreign countries for use in producing papers why those finished papers will be imported back to Nigeria with import duty and tax. Whereas, we can produce it here in Nigeria easily and export it to many African countries. With those trees, you can produce all type of office papers, exercise book sheets, cards and even tissue jumbo rolls. This is a great profitable business idea that requires big money to start but the profits is enormous in the future.

  • Ceramics

This is indeed a lucrative business idea but the industry is absolutely ineffective because they lack effective marketing ideas. They mostly rely on producing clay pot and plates though there is nothing wrong with that but the idea seriously needs huge amount of improvement. Most ceramics products we use in Nigeria are imported and Nigeria has huge mineral resources which are the raw materials for these products. There are many categories of ceramics products you can manufacture such as;

Sanitary wares: Water system, Wash basins, Cisterns, Seat covers etc.
Faucets: Sensor taps, Lever fittings, Lever basin, Shower, Flush valves, Bath tub Spouts, Flush cocks etc.
Ceramic tiles: Wall tiles, floor tiles etc.
Bath tubs: Jacuzzi, Steam shower rooms, Whirlpool, Shower panels etc.
Manufacturing one category of the above listed products can turn around your company while you take time to expand as you will be one of the greatest exporters in Africa if you hire smart teams.
Other big things you can manufacture are Machines, Mobile Phones (Cheap phones manufactured in Africa will compete favorable with other giant companies), Electronics etc.

3. Solar Energy

The epileptic power supply across many Nigerian cities are seen as a weak point for businesses to grow while many blame governments for lack of building efficient and effective power stations, Entrepreneurs ( visionary and creative) sees these problems as big opportunity. The high degree of sunlight in the Northern part of Nigeria is the main raw material needed. Americans Entrepreneurs and big companies today are gearing for alternative energy and many are adapting to Solar energy from the Idea of Elon Musk to build a Solar city (a city powered by Solar energy) to the idea of a possible Solar commercial planes. Solar energy is a big alternative and having multi-panels with good systematic process can power over 1,000,000 homes. We have the land, we have the sun so what are we waiting for?

The small Solar panels people built to power street lights are doing amazing jobs and the ones over the roof of some building are doing great but there is a need to turn this into a big business by purchasing huge lands in the North that sees lesser rainfall yearly and investing in Solar energy.

It is a great business idea that can generate power easily and be distributed to other parts of the country and even costs less than the gas turbines and water dams we see today in Nigeria.

4. Agriculture

It has been a good opportunity and very profitable for Nigerians with many Agricultural business ideas. Nigeria is expected to be the food basket of Africa only if Risk takers (Entrepreneurs) could use the opportunity of large fertile soils we possess. Investing in Agricultural business will yield amazing benefit if done correctly and though some people are in this business, many more opportunities are still available. Some of the agricultural business ideas you can start in Nigeria are;

  • Palm oil business
    Cattle rearing
    Cassava processing
    Fruits cultivating
    Rice farming
    Fish farming
    Plantain plantation
    Poultry farming
    Vegetables farming

Agricultural business ideas varies from one aspect to another and Nigerian Governments is doing very well to support Agricultural companies though SMEs, Agric banks and Subsidies of fertilizer.

5. Retail

Modern retailing has been so amazing in the World with the likes of Wal-Mart, Zara, Shoprite, etc. having huge market share for their companies but such cannot be said about Nigeria as Nigerians are yet to understand how these business works. The few chain retail companies in Nigeria are foreign owned while locals only maintain one or two branches of their retail store with little knowledge of how to create big revenue. In next 10 years, formal retail business will take over traditional system of public market in Nigeria with large investments in it and if you are still waiting till then to start, then you may wait forever because the right time to start is NOW and become big inn next 10 years.

Some of the retail categories you can start in Nigeria and turn it into a chain business are;

  • Car parts/service shops
    Wine stores
    Mobile phone stores
    Electronic Stores
    Cosmetics stores
    Jewelry and perfume stores
    Sportswear stores
    Computer stores
    Clothing stores
    Groceries stores
    Vendor machines

The rise of E-commerce has changed how business is done and most people do not believe such is feasible of buying something online and having them delivered to your address but today it has been achieved.

Retail industry is a huge opportunity anyone who wishes to start a retail business is taking a great decision if done correctly and the company might worth more than 1 billion dollars in 5-8 years of start.

6. Real estate

Real estate has been a good business in Nigeria and with recent hike in prices of rents in major cities across Nigeria; one could see a good opportunity to invest in real estate. This is one of the safest investments that gives you (ROI) if you know how to brand your business. The traditional real estate platforms have changed and engaging in modern and green house building will boost your business as a real estate developer. You can also buy many properties like apartments, office spaces, lands and sell when the price goes high.

Some of the Estate branches you can develop in Major cities in Nigeria are;

  • Residential property

Real estate is a good business and you must be very careful with place as location is the vital tool of any estate developing success. Do research and check on the local community before beginning your construction or renting an already built apartment or house.

7. Transportation

Transportation industry has seen few changes for the past decade but more innovative changes are expected. With the coming of Uber Company in Lagos and the restructuring of our rail system by the government, one can say that there is a hope. But the hope is an opportunity for entrepreneurs as Uber Nigeria is currently located in Lagos only, while there are many other cities yet to be taken. You will also have more customers as many taxi drivers find it difficult to sign up with Uber because of their strict policy. As a Nigerian, starting your own App will give you good advantage because you will explore more options Uber can’t try such as adopting different native language to engage with customers and allowing other cars that are comfortable.

In other cities, you can also start a taxi business by having a partnership with some local car manufacturers and accepting other cars with a unique color or tag for every taxi registered in your business.

Another opportunity in transportation is to build an app that will connect Tricycle (keke) drivers and customers just like Uber is doing for sedans. This may seem like a small business but the frequent use of keke in suburb cities across Nigeria and the population it attracts is a huge and pending opportunity for entrepreneurs.


If you are highly qualified and have motivation then you could look to start a law firm. Starting a law firm is not for the faint of heart and requires a lot of work but if you’re interested then visit

These lucrative business ideas in Nigeria listed above are very unique and it will take a good business manager, a visionary leader, an entrepreneur and an investor to understand the basic points and innovative measures of realizing these potentials and making the next billion dollar business in Nigeria.

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43 thoughts on “7 Great Business Ideas in Nigeria For 2017

  1. Thank you so much chinedu for this great idea
    But I would appreciate it more if you can enlightened or create a post on finding investors that are willing to invest on my idea
    Eg creating an app… Thank u once again and I hope to hear from you

  2. I am highly fascinated seeing the level of contribution you have made helping solve other people’s problem through your research work. l am interested in exercise book production which I no nothing about it. pls guide me on it,Thanks.

  3. Thank you so much for this educative write-ups. Please I will want you to help me on how to get finances for a start up business. So many of our banks don’t want to give loans to start up businesses. And this is a very very serious problem for start up businesses. Thank you

    1. Thank you Ademola, Well, Banks always want to play it smart as they don’t want to lose their money too because they have possibly have lots of experience where people come and borrow and could not meet up with their payment. Most entrepreneurs don’t go for loan. they use leverage to get what they want expecially in the startup phase. They ether convince an investor to invest in their business for an equity share or get some people who has the talent they lack to be part of their business. I have publish a post for getting funding, and loan. search it and feed your mind sir.

  4. I am enlightened by your write up seriously,you are really doing a great job here sir.All your post are timely and needed, I’m an entrepreneur and I desire to be educated more.Thank you sir!

    1. Thank you Okoro. Its in the desire of entrepreneurs to learn always. I will do my best to give my best advises and lessons.

  5. Thanks for this educative write-up. I like the ideas you mentioned under technology, especially the need to have a regional social media website like China has. I believe it’s an idea that can work, with the right approach and branding strategy. I think the transportation is also lucrative. Along side real estate.

  6. My hope of owning retail outlet is rekindled after reading through you work.My day is made.Thank you.Please ,can you organize seminar for young minds in entrepreneurship within Abuja.
    I look forward for your reply.

    1. Thank you Dickcon. I will try make out time to organize sch seminar because I am a kind of busy guy and working up some ideas for startup to be unveiled in the coming year. But I will do my best when time permits.

  7. Nice work here you are doing. I am interested in the making of tissue rolls. How do I contact you for questions.

  8. I love this, already finished a mini estate of building of 5 units One bedroom intended to start a school. Could you assist me with information for school education process with the Montessori, UK & American teaching curricular.

    Support with the necessary information if you have got.

    Thank you for the job above

    1. Hello Barthiyke, I don’t really have much information on the Teaching curruculum. But If I come across such info. I will do alert you

  9. I am extremely impressed Chinedu. Saw your write up on toilet paper production from a link a friend sent me today. I have a few questions though. How can I ask direct questions? How do I contact you? I just followed you on Twitter.

      1. I appreciate the feedback Chinedu. What’s your email addy? On Twitter can’t send a PM if you don’t follow me.

  10. Wonderful contribution. We can do all if only we can put aside mental laziness nd forget our many escuses. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Olatunji for your interest on No. 7. Contact me if you need more strategic approach towards the idea.

    1. Nice to know you are an entrepreneur. Hope you will take advantage of it and write to me when you make your first 50 million Naira.

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