By Ayo Alonge
Amidst the so-called “harsh economy” which has necessitated a poor living condition for most Nigerians, suffice to say that there are still small businesses which can yield an appreciable return on investment (ROI) when viewed against the backdrop of lucrative startups in the country.
However, in the day-to-day running of business, players in small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) are often bedeviled by a litany of challenges, ranging from financing to the diminishing purchasing power from the part of prospective buyers, necessitating some entrepreneurs to shift the blame on government at all levels, since they play a major role in the decision of how businesses are run, through certain regulatory processes, with respect to the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Miffed by the economic upheaval which has taken its toll on SMEs, Tochukwu Ubochioma, who owns a printing press startup in Lagos, explained to our correspondent that the challenges faced by startups in the country range from lack of enabling environment and infrastructure to inaccessibility to funds and poor power supply.
“Nigeria is one of the world’s leading business locations on the African continent. But when it comes to doing business in Nigeria, there are several challenges that confront a typical Nigerian business. In 2016, out of 189 countries, Nigeria was ranked 169th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report.
“Finance and funding is a major aspect of starting or setting up a business. Money is needed to buy materials, suppliers, equipment, pay staff and lots more. In Nigeria, funding is a major problem, especially if an entrepreneur does not have enough money to kick start the business.
“Getting access to constant electricity and power supply is a major concern for business in Nigeria. As of June 2018, an average household in Nigeria can only have access to 6 hours uninterrupted power supply out of the 24 hours that exist in a given day. This is why the use of generators as an alternative power source is so common in Nigeria,” he said. It, however, behoves any wise entrepreneur to invest in ventures that deal in basic humans needs or other essential services, since purchasing power is on a continuous decline, as occasioned by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and global recession. All things being equal, if your personality speaks of one who is hardworking, focused, passionate and possessing other entrepreneurial skills, a startup of N100,000 or less can, invariably, metamorphose into a much bigger enterprise, in no distant time. Thus, if the golden question that keeps popping up for you is — what business can I run with N100,000 or less with good profit? — then, here are some of such ventures, in no particular order.
One: Food vending
It is nothing but an absolute truth to assert that, with the necessary managerial skills put in place, one is sure to make good money from this line of business, considering the fact that people eat every day, even if not three times daily.
Aside establishing a roadside food stand, suffice to say that with the advent of modern courier services, any investor can choose to connect with residents, workers and students, for food delivery. In most cities, residents often prefer to order food (soup bowls inclusive), in a bid to satisfy a special craving for a particular meal they are too busy to prepare on their own. Similarly, anyone can choose to deal in raw food items. That is lucrative too. For instance, a 50kg bag of rice, when sold in cups, can yield at least 60 per cent return on investment.
Two: Poultry farming
Poultry farming is one business which makes investors smile to the bank, any day. Despite its attendant challenges, a popular specialist in poultry farming, Rilwan Raji, while speaking with Saturday Sun, said: “Farming business is very profitable. For instance, poultry farming is a business that does not need too much introduction.
The funniest thing is that it can still be referred to as untapped because the few ones we have in the country are badly managed. It is a highly profitable business. The rate of poultry egg consumption is very high in Nigeria, being one of the cheapest sources of protein. Any farmer who goes into egg business will never regret it. It is another goldmine. Poultry birds processing is another super business in poultry which is still not tapped yet. About 75 per cent of what is consumed is still being smuggled into the country. With the smuggling plus locally produced ones, it still has not met up to 30 per cent of what is required.”
Without a second thought, this is one business that any wise entrepreneur can go into and won’t regret. In major cities, residents are always in dire need of getting their laundry done for them, due to their busy schedule. Hence, every business-minded person may want to explore this business opportunity.
Perhaps one thing that makes the business very interesting is that it yields over 200 per cent return on investment. To get started, one can even make use of one’s spacious residence, get a washing machine and other few equipment which won’t even cost an arm and a leg. Eureka! You are in business already!
Yet another business one is sure to have a very appreciable profit margin from is the skincare business. In today’s Nigeria, many people, especially females, do not joke with taking care of their skins, using both organic and inorganic skincare products. Tosin Babalola, a seller of organic skincare products in Lagos, who runs her own startup named Finest Beauty Skincare noted: “Skincare business has the tendency to grow wide across this nation, especially if you produce by yourself. With a small amount of money, you can start the business and then you grow it as time progresses. You can start with as low as N100,000 and still make over a 100 percent profit on each product sold. All you need is to produce in small quantity at a time. You also need a clean environment for your production. The necessary equipment needed to start your skincare business are everywhere in the market and quite affordable for any startup.”
Five: Organic drinks production
Increasingly, people are getting aware of the health implications of carbonated drinks because of the high risk of stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. This has caused a constant drift from soft drinks to naturally made drinks and fruit juices, without sugar and additives. So, anyone who goes into production and sales of naturally made drinks now is in it to make a lot of profit. Some examples of naturally made drinks are zobo, kunu, fruit juice, fura da nunu and tiger nut drink. With a N100,000 budget or less, all you need to transform this business idea into a profitable venture is a blender, desired fruits, ingredients, plastic bottles and a refrigerator. If you don’t have a refrigerator yet, you may start with buying blocks of ice. You may then begin to supply your well branded product to malls and local markets.
Six: Palm oil retailing
Perhaps one of the most lucrative businesses that can be started with N100,000 or less is the palm oil retailing business. Yet most people are oblivious of this. Since the price of palm oil fluctuates seasonally, one could buy when it is cheaper in gallons of 20 litres and sell at retail prices during the period of scarcity which automatically results in a hike in price.
Speaking with our correspondent, a key player in the business, Olumide Adelugba, disclosed that within few months, any investor can cash out not less than 100 per cent return on investment.
“Palm oil business is a very lucrative business. Asides the fact that the business is lucrative, it is also one of the very viable businesses that one can start with as low as N100,000, even less.
“Palm oil business does not have any technicality. For a small scale starter, all you need do is buy a keg of Palm oil from any of the palm oil producing states in Nigeria during the palm oil boom season. Palm oil boom season is between March and June. At this time, 25 litres of palm oil sells for as low as N8,000. With N80,000, you can buy 10 kegs. “The real deal is that you buy the 10 kegs, store them appropriately for three to five months. By then, the price in the market would have risen by over 100 per cent. The demand for oil is very high. It is one of the most demanded household commodities.
Seven: Phone charging venture
Against the backdrop of the fact that unstable power supply has been a key challenge in the country, particularly in most rural communities where people can’t afford acquiring a generator set for personal use, it has become exigent to venture into this line of business.
All you need to start is a power source, a wide wooden board with lots of electric ports to accommodate as many phones. Anyone can start this business with even less than N100,000.