Outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic has had severe impact on businesses, jobs and economies across the world. Nigeria was among the first countries in Africa to record COVID-19 cases and has implemented strict measures to contain the spread of the virus. Most businesses were on lockdown and jobs lost. The devasting effect of the pandemic is still very indelible on all.
The government confronted the simultaneous challenge of combatting the public health crisis of the pandemic alongside trying to bolster a weakening economy in the face of plummeting oil prices.
The COVID-19 crisis has deepened poverty in Nigeria. Before the crisis, approximately four in 10 Nigerians were living below the national poverty line, and millions more were living just above the poverty line, making them vulnerable to falling back into poverty when shocks occur, according to the World Bank.
The quest for survival is now making more people to innovate and venture into survival means, including venturing into micro, small and medium businesses. The pandemic and its economic and social effects on households have created an urgent need to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the crisis and protect the welfare of everyone.
Checks by this newspaper showed that the micro, small and medium sector of the nation’s economy is now being saturated by many entrants who obviously want to augment for revenue shortfall or loss of jobs.
Official data shows that small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria would be making more contributions to the nation’s economy beyond the current 48 per cent of the national GDP in the last five years following the level of increase in SME registration in recent time. Unconfirmed data that was obtained by this newspaper showed that the total number of micro and small enterprises now rise from 17.4 million as at last year to about 17.7 million this year.
The MSME sector is known to be the growth engine of any economy contributing to its development, job creation and export amongst others. According to the World Bank, MSMEs represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50 per cent of employment worldwide. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40 per cent of national income (GDP) in emerging economies.
A survey by SMEDAN and National Bureau of Statistics that was conducted last year indicates Nigeria’s SMEs contribute nearly 50 per cent of the country’s GDP and account for over 80 per cent of employment in the country. No doubt, the sector is pivotal to Nigeria’s growth including reducing poverty levels. However, the sector continues to be weighed down with challenges which ultimately impact the nation’s growth.
It was discovered that more Nigerians now go into small businesses, including cosmetics production business, gym business, blogging, sale of mobile phone accessories, mobile phone repairs, Plantain chips production and sales, Ice block production and sale, liquid soap production and Tomato farming business.
Those with little capital and land for farming now go into Tomato farming. There are also those who are beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme to go into commercial farming of the product which is in constant demand. There are also those who engage in Tomato paste processing for bigger production purpose.
Agriculture offers one of the best cash chain investment in Nigeria today. This business is rewarding, and at the same time, not expensive to start up.
However, before you start the tomatoes business in Nigeria, you’ll need to find out what type of tomatoes are in demand. This information can be gotten from those who supply seeds, as they will be able to inform you better on popular demand.
Also, they will let you know the varieties that are patronized best. You will also need to ensure that the seeds you finally pick will grow well.
In this era of new media, media marketing and microblogging, many Nigerians simply engage in news aggregation or recycling for the purpose of making money from google AdSense and other vendors.
In an advice to those who thing of opening a micro enterprise, an online platform, getinsurance.ng suggested that interested people with journalistic writing skills could start a blog at little or no cost. Blogging is a good way to make money online in Nigeria. All you need is internet access, good research skill, an interest, and a laptop and a lot of time. Your most important and perhaps expensive investment in a blogging career is your time.
Also, since you would want people to find your blog posts without manually promoting it all the time, you would need to learn how to optimize your posts for search engines like Google or hire the services of an SEO.
Ice block production and sales
While some are engaging in sachet and bottle water hawking, others are producing ice blocks for them to cold their drinks since power is still a major challenge to business survival in Nigeria. To achieve that, when you talk about small business ideas in Nigeria, ice block production comes to mind. Nigeria is located within the tropical climate region with an abundance of sunlight and heat.
Unfortunately, the electricity supply is very poor, making it difficult for homes to maintain adequate stock of cold water in their refrigerators. This is what makes ice block production a money-spinning business in Nigeria.
People require ice blocks to keep their water and drink cold. Your market includes households around your neighbourhood, retail shops, restaurants and bars that need to keep their drinks ice-cold at all times.
The good thing about this business is that you can kick off with the little you have. You need a deep freezer as well as a medium-sized generator and you’re all set. As you make money, you can scale up by acquiring an ice block making machine. So, looking for a small business to do? It could be this.
Liquid soap production
An estimated 506,000 people are reportedly engaged in liquid soup production for plates and car was. They are scattered all of the country. As usual, the commercial state of Lagos is said to be leading the business. The market for liquid soap in Nigeria is so large that the well-established brands are not meeting demand.
Every household in the country needs this product. So there will always be a demand for it. You just have to be the one supplying.
If you look around you, you will find homemade liquid soaps with no branding at all, packaged in used plastic bottles being sold for between N50 and N100. You can make so much money producing liquid soap and selling to supermarkets and other shops that retail to end-users, restaurants, bakers, caterers, and home keepers.
You may have to acquire some training that is available at vocational centers run by churches, government, and non-governmental organizations. Create a large market by branding and fine packaging and you will smile to the bank.
Those who are aware of the fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic are not surprised by the surging rate of car wash stands in every corner of Nigerian cities. Because it is a business that doesn’t require much to start, and a money spinning one, many young men, included university graduates, are now into car washing business, with the number rising. The need for car wash will always be on the rise and anybody can do this business irrespective of age.
With a little more capital, you can start a car wash that appeals to upwardly mobile individuals by setting up a sitting area decorated with a TV set where your customers will sit while their cars are being washed. You can make it a multiple income stream business if you have space by adding the sale of drinks, shawarma, etc at the sitting area.
The critical things needed for a car wash business is the space that can be rented, source of water and the washing machine.
Mobile phone accessories
This is a very lucrative business in Nigeria today. With as little as N50,000 saved using any platform. While you will do well by renting space if you have the money, this business can also be done in mobile fashion by carrying your products to places they are needed.
In this case, you have to first identify your market and feed them with their needs. What drives this business is the rapid growth in the use of mobile phones in Nigeria. Nigeria has an estimated population of 180 million people. There are more than 160 million connected through their mobile phone line.
Accessories that are common in demand include batteries, memory cards, battery chargers, earpieces, screen guards, pouches, etc. You can get supplies from Computer Village (Lagos) or online stores. Phone Accessories business is one sure way of getting into online importation.
Starters are encouraged to also make their business stand out by venturing into mobile phone insurance. This has proven to improve the confidence of customers in your products.
With little knowledge of electronics repairs, many artisans are now into mobile phone repairing to generate income. While full training of phone repair is encouraged to be proficient on the job of mobile phone repair, the fact is that each repairer in Ikeja computer, Lagos, makes an average of N4,500 daily from mobile phone repair.
This is a business idea that will fetch you good money if you are patient to learn how to repair and maintain mobile phones. With less than N50,000 you can start a phone repair and maintenance business in Nigeria.
All you need to start is a little training, a laptop, software tools, some regular home tools (screwdriver, soldering iron, brush, battery tester, etc.) and some marketing to let people know what you do. You will also need to develop good relationships with dealers of quality accessories. With as low as N5,000, you can purchase a repair kit from any eCommerce stores. Just make payment with your debit cards, and you’re ready for business.
Plantain chips production and sales
You have seen it everywhere – the delicious crunchy snack made from unripe plantain. Hawkers sell them along the highways. The catch is, you probably did not realize it is such a lucrative business in Nigeria.
You don’t need to be a UAC or Leventis Food to engage in the plantain chip business in Nigeria.
A small-scale plantain chip enterprise with an initial investment of fifty thousand is capable of returning N10,000 in profit daily.
You can start this right from your kitchen. Just place your brand name on the transparent nylon, and you’re good to go. You will need to get some coaching from someone already doing the business, learn some recipes and develop a supply chain both for your raw materials (plantain) and finished products.