Free business ideas/ Thriving Businesses in Nigeria

The rate of unemployment in Nigeria has become a Menace that is causing psychological issues, especially among youths and fresh Graduate, a lot of people are left without jobs.

Living without a means of income is suicidal. But if you are smart, you can start your own business. In no time if you know what you are doing, you will be generating your own income. And even employing others.

You do not need to be very rich to start a business. The business ideas we list on this page, can be ventured into with small capital or big capital. It all depends on your capacity.

Here are the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria:


The simple truth is that Nigeria and to a large extend, the world, still depends on oil and gas. As long as this trend continues, this business will continue to dominate. Oil and gas is definitely king among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.

Look at this way, we depend on gas or kerosene to cook. We depend on fuel to move around whether we are using cars, Tricycles or Bikes.  And because of poor electricity supply we depend on fuel for electricity. All the big and small companies in Nigeria depend on fuel or diesel to operate.

There is too much dependent on oil and gas. And Nigeria is blessed with abundance of it. Anyone who taps into this business will be making huge income.

Here are opportunities in Oil and gas business:


This is one of the most lucrative part of oil and gas business. But you will need a high budget to get into it. Oil and gas distributors brings in refined petroleum product into the country for distribution to different sectors.


With few millions of Naira, you can start a petrol station. There are so many cars in Nigeria that you will never run out of customers. Also, a lot of people depend on petrol station to power their generators and other machines.


This is an untapped business in Nigeria. A lot of people are so focused on Petrol that they overlook cooking gas.

You can supply cooking gas to retailers or you become a retailer and refill gas for end users. Spice it up. This business is very lucrative and it does not cost much to start. You can start small and grow!


A lot of Nigerians still depend on kerosene for various reasons. Even those with cooking gas use kerosene powered stove as back up. This business is very lucrative. More lucrative because not so many people are into it any more the Competition Is reduced


You can purchase tankers and get into the business of lifting petroleum products. It could be ships. Petroleum products is like any other commodity; they need to be lifted. There are also fleet management opportunities.

These are some of the opportunities in oil and gas business. There are more if you do your research. But one thing is certain, Oil and gas remains one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria


Apart from being one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria, agriculture business is an evergreen business. It never gets old and never fade. As long as human exist, agriculture business will continue to strive. This makes it a very important and strategic business.

One thing that makes this business so attractive is that there are lots of loans or financing options available for agriculture entrepreneurs in Nigeria. We have a dedicated Bank of Agriculture operated by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank and Ministry of Agriculture. . Many business lenders give lots of preference to the agriculture sector.

And as the government is continually looking to diversify from oil, their major focus is on agriculture. More incentives will be triggered for this sector. There is huge profit and growth waiting for anyone who ventures into Agriculture business.

Here are some opportunities in Agriculture business:


Beef meat is very popular in Nigeria. Cow milk is almost as treasured as oil in Nigeria. These factors make cattle farming one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria


Palm oil is gold. Most of the things you use from cream to soup and many more are made from palm oil. There are many companies around the world who imports palm oil from Nigeria.  This business is very lucrative.


Majority of Nigerians depend on Garri, fufu and other products made from cassava. This business is very lucrative because the products are very much in demand.


Chicken meat, Turkey meat and others are very popular among Nigerians especially during festive seasons. Poultry farming is a very profitable business anyone can start with small capital. 


Chicken meat, Turkey meat and others are very popular among Nigerians especially during festive seasons. Poultry farming is a very profitable business anyone can start with small capital.

There is so much possibilities and potentials in this business. Nigeria and Africa has a lot of festivities in a calendar year, most families that cannot Afford buying cows and goats, always go for chickens, turkeys and the likes. Anyone who taps into this will definitely make a lot of profit.

There are many other agriculture business ideas apart from the above listed. Do your research and go for the one that suits you, your location and budget. We have Rabbit and Pig farming and many others


There is no way food business will not be among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. This is an evergreen business. People will always eat! No matter how hard or tough the economy is, one thing people can never do without is food.

This is a business that if you run well, can make you rich. It is also very easy to win loyal customers. As long as your food is delicious, people will always come back.

If you can find a good location, acquire the right skills and personnel, you can run a successful food business. This is a business without season. It is in demand every day.

Here are some opportunities in food business:


Nigerians love big brands like Mr Biggs, Chicken republic, KFC and co. Some of these brands are so popular that people are loyal to a particular brand.  You can find a good location in any city, with no competition or minimal competition around, and establish a fast food franchise. Mr Biggs is owned by United African Company of Nigeria (UAC), you can apply to them for a franchise opportunity.

Once approved, you can open your own Mr. Biggs fast food and make money. If you find a good location with minimal or no competition, you will make so much money. Apart from Mr. Biggs, you can open any franchise of your choice.


You can open a local restaurant that appeals to a particular set of food eaters. For example, you can open a “Calabar restaurant” where you serve the world famous Edika-ikong and Affang soup. This will stand you out as people interested in these food will look for you.

You can start an “amala restaurant” where you focus on the delicious amala dish.

When it comes to local restaurant, having a specification can be a turning point.


Foreign and intercontinental food are becoming very popular in Nigeria. The restaurant that serves these kind of meals attract high worth individuals, foreigners and celebrities.

You can open a Chinese Restaurant, Italian restaurant, Indian restaurant and so on. You can learn how to make dishes common in these restaurants or partner with someone who has good understanding of it all.


This is a very lucrative business that you can do to make money. There are a lot of people that supplies food at conferences, seminars, bank’s AGM and so on, all you need do is brand it.

Food supply business is lucrative. You need a have good cooking skills or employ someone who has. Then build a network of event planners and organizers. Also approach schools, companies and so on. You will be amazed!


Blogging business has definitely earned its place among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. More and more people prefer to read news online than newspapers. Gradually blog, is replacing newspaper for a lot of people. This has open big opportunities.

Bloggers make money through direct advertisement, ad networks, affiliate marketing, product sales, sponsored post, partnerships and many more. On average, high end bloggers make over 20 million Naira every month in Nigeria.

Blogging is easy to start. With a very small capital. To start a self-hosted blog will cost you about N4, 000 for domain name and N27, 000 for hosting for a year. You pay both for a year. That is just less than N35, 000 to start a business that can make you 20 million every month.


Real Estate business is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria and anywhere in the world. There is no doubt about it. People will always need a roof over their head. As population continue to increase, real estate business will continue to boom. As people move to cities, this business keep booming.

There are many opportunities in real estate business. You can work as an agent. Helping people find properties and apartment for fee or commission. Also helping property sellers and landlords find buyers or tenants for a fee.

You can develop properties in highly sought after environment for sale or for rent. You can also invest in lands and either develop or sell when it appreciates.


Furniture business is deservedly among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. The market is huge and demand is high. People will always use furniture. People sit on furniture, sleep on furniture. Kitchen – furniture, sitting room – furniture. Companies need furniture. We are surrounded by furniture. Furniture is an essential commodity.

You can start a carpentry shop where you make well-polished furniture for various purposes. Employ skilled carpenters. Supply furniture to show rooms, companies, schools and sell to individuals.

If you are not interested in carpentry shop, you can open a showroom and source for well-made furniture from good carpenters around. Display them and sell.  The market is huge and the profit margin is high.


Hotel business is very lucrative and cannot be overlooked among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. The population of Nigeria is huge and people move from one place to another either for pleasure or business. Hotel provides shelter for them. Also people coming into the country patronize hotels.

To succeed in hotel business, you need to either look for a less competitive environment and start up or offer better or cheaper services in a competitive area. To supplement your income, your hotels should have event hall where people rent for events. A bar and restaurant.


Transportation makes this list of most lucrative businesses in Nigeria and deservedly so. This is one business that you cannot do without. People are always moving. Moving to work, moving to church or mosque, moving to visit, moving from city to city. There is always movement. With over 200 million people in Nigeria on the move, this business is lucrative.

You can start with small capital or big capital. You can drive Uber with your car for extra income. Buy buses, tri-cycles, Bikes. Even planes. The market is huge and very much in demand. People are always moving!


With so many people spending most of their time on social media, social media marketing has to be among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.

Social media marketing is all about using social media to find leads for businesses. You can work independently and help businesses make the best of social media or you can promote and sell product via social media.


There is no way fashion business will not make it to the list of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. Nigerians love party, be it weddings, birthdays, end-of-the-year gatherings. Even during funeral, we still find a way to throw party – burial ceremony! For all these events, there are uniforms. Fashion business is very much in demand. People will always wear clothes. To go to work, school, even to sleep, people need cloth. The demand is very high.

You can go into fashion designing and make amazing clothes. Your will have large patronize from different quarters. You can also open a boutique and sell imported and locally made fashion items. You can do printing services, print on t-shirts and caps.

There is also Okrika business. Remember, people will always wear cloth! The demand will always be there. You can also specialize: children cloths, babies’ cloth, female, wedding, African print and so on.



The truth is that people spend more time online than they spend watching TV. Gradually, consuming video online is becoming popular. Especially YouTube and Netflix.

If not for how expensive internet data is in Nigeria, a lot of people will have ignored their TV and watch almost everything online.

The market is big. You can start a video blog on YouTube and focus on your favourite subject. You make money from ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorship and many more.

If you have big a budget, you can start your own video or movie streaming platform.


This business is very lucrative in the city. Most busy workers rely on dry cleaners for their laundry needs. Companies and organizations make use of dry cleaning services very often. In this business, you will always have customer if you are in the right location.




If there is one thing humans can never do without, it is water. Because of the important nature of water, pure water business makes this list of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.

There are approximately 200 million people in Nigeria today and all of them drink water! That makes this business very profitable, because you will always have buyers.



Drop shipping business is a very lucrative business. It gives you the opportunity to run your own online shop without a warehouse or need the need to have products.

All you have to do is open an online store via WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram then copy inventory from manufacturers or suppliers and put them in your online shop. If anyone orders, the supplier will ship to them and you get your money!


There are many other lucrative businesses to do if you know who to ask and where to look, at this level of world advancement and general increase in the prices of Goods and services, it is not advisable for you to stay Idle on the basis that there is no Job.

You can pick any of the above and start them in respect to the capital you can gather.

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Written and Compiled by:

Orolu Oluwagbenga O

Head Human Resource

Mecer Consulting Limited

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