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January 4, 2019

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Business Ideas Requiring Little Time and Little Capital


Being a Nigerian student can be difficult, with lack of basic amenities light electricity, it is even more difficult to keep up with good grades as a student studying in Nigeria. While many students rely on allowances and income from their parents or guardians which is most often than not hardly sufficient to sustain you at school, many others fend for themselves by schooling and working or doing a business at the same time. It is only normal for students in any of these categories to look for an alternate source of income to survive while in school.

This is why we have compiled a list of businesses that you can start as a student in Nigeria. There are three excuses students usually give when the issue of running a side business in school is raised: “I don’t have time”, “I don’t have money” and “what’s the point? I don’t lack anything”, These businesses have been researched and screened to not be time taking, require little or no capital; You don’t need a lot of money to start any of these lucrative small business ideas; for some of them, you don’t need money at all. They are small business ideas – at the most, N10,000 to N15,000 should be enough to get you started and they are very flexible business ideas in other to help you keep up with your good grades as well as the experience you gain doing any of these business will be a great professional boost to you CV.

Lets dive into it and not waste anymore time;


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1. Mini Importation

This is number one on my list, because so far it seems to be the most lucrative business right now and it is conducted 100% online. Mini Importation is a fairly new business in Nigeria where you import products majorly from china at very very low rate and are sold for good profit. Majority of people in this business conduct their business strictly online and liaise with courier services who then pick up the product from the seller and deliver them to the buyer. So you get to work at your pace and convenient since you do not need to leave the comfortable of your house to effectively make good money from this business

2. Start a website.

Pick a subject you’re passionate about, find a niche and get blogging. Once you have a good following, you can start hosting ads on your site for payment, or even write advertorials for brands (this basically involves you writing about a company for payment)

3. Mobile Data sharing .

We are in a technology driven world and this has become a very lucrative business with the daily expansion of the internet. It is quite simple. Buy data in bulk and resell to others. It becomes more interesting since a large number of persons depend on data to keep up with the social media and drive their businesses. You don’t need a physical space to do this. It can be done anywhere and at anytime.

4. Dropshipping

This is similar to Mini importation but with a little twist. Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third-party and has it shipped directly to the customer.
Dropshipping is a booming business model now and will continue to see success in the near future. Thanks to the internet, you can conduct every phase of this business right from your room, with surprising ease.
The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third-party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders
To start this business, you need a personal computer, internet access and alot of research about this business model. You will need to know your way around websites like aliexpress.com, amazon.com, and you will need to know how to create a Facebook page and set up an online shop on your Facebook page.
You will also need to know how to create an online shop on websites like Shopitfy and how to drive traffic to your shop.

5. Become a Youtuber

You can earn money from YouTube videos by sharing a slice of the ad revenue on videos you upload to youtube. Your videos could be reviews or guides related to your course of study or a subject, or pick any topic that really fascinates you (games, comedy and music do particularly well). You can run some ads and often blag freebies, and further down the line you could even stream pay-per-view videos if you get enough subscribers. if you are every good at the niche you choose, your subscribers will grow faster and this means more revenue from your videos

6. Cleaning/Dry cleaning

Yes, don’t say it is a dirty job because you’d be surprised at the number of students/lecturers or other people that need their clothes, houses sparkling clean.
People are willing to pay you a fair amount to get the task they consider tiring done for them while they can focus on other things like school, work, family or business. There is little skill needed in this business. This is one of the business ideas for students in Nigeria that’d need patience in other to build your clientele and a reputation.

7. Typing and Editing Business

Most students have need to type their assignments, projects and thesis. If you have a personal computer, you can start up a typing business.
How this works is you collect the handwritten assignments and type in the evening, after school. If you lack speed-typing skills, install a typing tutorial software like Mavis Beacon and start practicing.
After typing, you take it to a computer center to print out at N20 per page. You can charge between N50 to N100 per page for each typing job. This gives you a profit margin of between N30 to N80 per page. If you can type 20 pages per day, that gives you 800 – 1,600 daily and 4,800 – 9,600 weekly in extra income. Think about it.

8. Selling of textbooks

As funny as this sounds, you can buy second-hand in-demand textbooks from different levels and courses at the end of session and sell them on to new students at the start of the new session, however it’s worth double checking that the same textbooks will be used again the following session, otherwise you could be left with a lot of useless material!. But in a country like Nigeria where the Education system has remained the same for many years, you are sure to make good profit from this, because you got them as second valued materials from other students who are probably happy to get rid of them, students in need will rather buy from you because they will be more affordable than buying the new ones in book stores.

9. Clothes/Fashion Items

Selling used clothes, fondly called okirika, is one of the business ideas for students in Nigerian. Aside used clothes, students can also sell new ones too.
What you need for this is to get in touch with wholesalers where you can get quality materials and resell on campus. You don’t need much capital to start this as your business is mobile – going from halls to hostels, classrooms etc.
Aside clothes, you can sell shoes, and some clothing accessories for both males and females.

10. Recharge Card

There are 2 ways to run the recharge voucher business. Either you deal in bulk recharge card printing, which is still very lucrative although costlier to start, or you sell as a retailer.
You can buy bulk units of N100 and N200 recharge cards and sell at a higher prize. Most wholesalers sell at the 10 units of N100 recharge card for N920, this gives you an N80 profit after sales. You can easily start up this business with as low as N5,000.

11. Sell your creativity

Are you a writer, graphic designer, musician etc, you can put your creativity to work on websites like Fiverr, Upwork or Gumroad

12. Barbing/Hair Plating

This is one of the commonest and easy-to-start businesses ideas for students in Nigeria. The huge student population makes it easy to find the right customers.
You can attach yourself to a barbing salon where you are expected to give certain percentage of your charges to the owner (s) for any work done or you can run home services. Either way you dont have to spend on setting up and running a saloon.
The good side of this one is that it rarely clashes with your lecture time since many people use the salons on weekends or at the tail-end of the day.

13. Organize Tutorial Classes

You can organize tutorial classes for students in lower classes in your department. There are courses that are usually tough and difficult to understand, and students taking that course will not mind paying someone to teach them the course.
You can also organize other courses like web design lectures for your course mates, you can charge as little as N1,000 each for the duration of the course to attract alot of participants. Another way is to charge say N100 for each tutorial you organize and if 50 persons turn up, that gives you N5,000 for the day. To organize a tutorial, you need to find a place inside the school, and then inform the course representative to tell the class of an upcoming tutorial session.

14. Start a campus Magazine

You can start a magazine about your university and get other students, tutors and guest experts to write for it too. You could charge local businesses to advertise in it as well – the money might not start rolling in instantly but it’s a good project to invest in and will look great on your CV. You can start off as a weekly bulletin and grow into a full blown magazine.

15. Fast Food/Noodles Joint

They call them “Mishai”. Your work here is well-cut out. Many students do not have the time to cook, others cannot and yet, there are those who want to show class by buying prepared noodles, bread/egg and tea and other fast food.
The start-up capital for this kind of business is usually less than N20, 000, depending on how big you want it to be.
Get your bread, cartoons of noodles, stove, table, plates and cups, among others, and the business is set!

16. Sell Compiled Past Questions

Just like textbooks, but nothing sells fast in school like past question papers, especially as exam date approaches. You can get past questions from your department and other departments, solve the questions with the help of your text books, then convert it to short handout and sell to students during exams. You can sell the handouts for N200 or less depending on your production cost.

17. Start a Mini Cinema

For a school like FUNAAB and many other schools, this business already exists. But this should not stop you, there is a lot of money in this business as students easily get bored and just like football enjoy seeing movies with friends on weekend. Besides, a healthy competition helps a business stay healthy for its customers. You will need a projector and a location on campus to show movies, be careful not to breech any copyright laws for the movies you show. You can show movies once every week preferably weekends and if there are other mini cinemas on campus, be show you are not showing what they are showing or what they have recently shown.

18. Freelance/Resume Writing

Have you been told that you write well? Or do you find writing an easy task to do? Then, you could make some cash with this skill.
Students who are looking out for internship opportunities need a ready-to-go, eye-catching resume. You can perfect this easy skill and start charging them to create awesome resumes using acceptable formats.
All you need is an ability to filter and organize information in a clearly understandable manner and you’d get some cool cash.
You can showcase your portfolio of work online (blog, social media) and spread the message by word of mouth. Once you get a client and deliver a great piece, watch out as you’d begin to get referrals.

19. Manicure and Pedicure Services

A lot of female students fix their nails especially during weekends. You can offer a home nail fixing service business. You can purchase the basic equipment needed for fixing nails with N3,000 and charge as low as N300 for each service rendered.

20. Tour/Travel agency

Become a tour agency by organising student event trips to other cities, tour centers or to visit festivals – get a good deal on a coach or get the university to lease out its school bus and double your money on purchase of bulk tickets for festivals and concerts. You can also get in touch with the tourism center and get discounts and good deals on activities for your clients to help you make more money. With time you will may be able to get a company like a travel company to sponsor promotional trips for students.
You can also put together packages of budget flights, accommodation and events and co-ordinate it between a universities abroad and your own.

21. Graphics Design

The internet has opened up opportunities to make money. People now have e-flyers for their programmes.
They write ebooks and thus need a book cover. People celebrate birthdays, child dedication, marriages and weddings. That’s a huge reservoir of opportunity to tap into and make some cash if you have knowledge of graphics design.
There is no limit to how much you can make here. It only boils down to how fast you can deliver your job with quality and professionalism.

22. Become a Jumia Agent

Jumia agents help people to place orders and buy whatever they need on Jumia.com, Africa’s largest online shopping platform. As an agent, you get commissions on every sale made through your account.
All you need to do is let people know you are a Jumia agent. You can also promote their offers on your Facebook, instagram, twitter or Whatsapp channels. You don’t need any money to do this and it takes very little of your time. To get started as a Jumia agent, click here  to sign up.

23. Errands And Delivery Services

Sites like Jumia, Konga and others deliver goods to their clients at home. Why not tap into this if you know how to ride a bike?, you might not even need to know how to ride a bike. You can help busy people like lecturers shop and drop off their goods in their houses and charge them. It’s that simple.

24. Outdoor Catering Services

You can start this business yourself with nothing or join a team that offers the service to increase your confidence in cooking for events and occasions.
Catering is very lucrative, but you need passion to sustain your drive. It’s not about the money, it’s about the passion. Catering funds itself. You want me to cook for you, you give me money and I cook. You don’t need millions to start.

25. Photography

Photography, amateur or professional, is always good business for a willing mind to engage on the side. For a start, you can target events and social gatherings.
If you are interested, it would provide you a springboard to move to a more professional and rewarding career in photography.

26. Real Estate Agent

This never goes out of fashion and is always in demand. You help people find a house or hostel to live in and you get paid. You probably know a lot of people who do this.
Reliability and access to genuine information should be your watchword if you are to succeed in this business. You will need a business card which you can always get for less than 4000 naira. Word of mouth does the rest.

27. Sports/Physical Trainer

A lot of people struggle with weight loss and physical fitness while others just want to stay healthy. If you are a good athlete, think about starting a personal sports training service for helping fellow students. You can use either an on-campus facility or a local fitness facility off campus, or your school sport center. You can also develop training manuals and videos and sell them at sports centers and gyms.

28. Pastries and Cake Making

Students as well as other people in the university community need cakes for birthday celebrations and other occasions. If you have the skills, you can tap into this opportunity and make your money in your spare time. Once they know you are good, you will never run out of money. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool especially in school and out of it.

29. Kerosene Retail

As funny as this sounds, many students still cook with kerosene due to insufficient supply of electricity and cost of cooking gas and they have to buy the kerosene from somewhere. in as much as majority get theirs from the petrol station, starting a kerosene business close to them can grow to be a really big business in the long run.
You can set yourself up as a retailer first to make your profit quickly. This is one of the most lucrative small business ideas for Nigerian students. Dealers have been known to receive 100% returns on their first investment

30. Stay in school

The most lucrative business and occupying the final spot on my list is reading your books and graduating with goods grades. Making an extra income to support your self in school and easing your parents financial responsibility can be important, staying in school and graduating with good grades is importanter. Good grades gets you good jobs.

So Keep your business ideas on track with some common sense:

  1. Don’t do anything illegal
  2. Don’t compromise anyone’s safety to make a buck
  3. Don’t skimp on your studies in favour of making some cash
  4. Check any rules in your university/insurance provider might have about running a business
  5. Get the tax facts and know where you stand
  6. Make sure you sound-out any rules about plagiarism if you intend to sell your notes or essays
  7. Check whether you need a licence, insurance or qualification to put any of your ideas into action before you move forward
  8. Don’t just think in terms of the money – going for ideas that help your community or local charities can do just as much for your CV or personal satisfaction.
  9. Make sure you have knwoeldge in the business you choose, dont go barbing people hair if you dont have enough skills to do so

There are other lucrative small business ideas out there but these should get you started. Remember the most wonderful idea that remains in your head is basically useless. The time to start doing something is now! Good luck.

What other lucrative business do you know that students can do? Drop your comment in the comment box below. Thank you


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