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14 Small Business Ideas For Entrepreneurs In Lagos

Small Business Ideas

Entrepreneurs are in a quest for viable small business ideas to invest in. Entrepreneurship truly is the way if you can take the risk.

See Also: Resources that will help you start, market and grow a sustainable business.

If you are looking to invest in Nigeria, there is no better place to start your entrepreneurial journey than Lagos; one of the largest cities in Africa with a growing population of about 20 million people of diverse cultural heritage. Small business ideas that entrepreneurs can invest in are endless. Everyone in Lagos is considered a hustler, always doing one thing or the other in exchange for money.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

See Also: Business Model Canvas (BMC) – A tool for designing business models

Whether it is climbing up the corporate ladder by securing a job with one of the organizations hosted in the state or taking advantage of the population with various needs by being an entrepreneur, Lagos is without a doubt the nerve of entrepreneurship.

Small Business Ideas For Entrepreneurs

Food And Catering Services

Food and catering services are one of the small business ideas that anyone can invest in. Everyone eats. As a smart investor, you could go into the buying and selling of raw food items, selling cooked food to the masses as Lagos is popularly known for the existence of ‘bukas’ (sheds or small shops where cooked meals are sold at relatively cheap prices) in various neighborhoods or you could start a full-blown restaurant. It all depends on what you think would suit you the most and the location. You could also start a catering service that takes care of food needs during events

Most people in Lagos are of the working class with long work hours leaving little or no time to cook for themselves. As a brilliant investor, you could create your own food delivery service that would look after the food needs of these people.

See Also: 10 practical ways to reduce business expenses.

Real Estate

This sector in Lagos state is dominated by professionals as well as unprofessional. They are mostly referred to as agents. You can invest in the acquisition of lands or buildings and in about two years, you can gain as high as twice the capital from the sale.

Lagos is a densely populated area hence there are accommodation challenges. You can take advantage of this problem by starting your own real estate agency committed to helping people find their ‘perfect’ houses.

If you have the capital, you can also go into the provision of serviced apartments. You build, provide light, security, and other basic things and factor all these into the rent. People will be more than willing to pay if they know that they will have constant electric power supply.

See Also: Real estate investment in Nigeria is gold worth investing into.

Cab Hire Services

With a lot of people having places to go, this could be a very good business opportunity. Studies have shown that an average cab driver in Lagos State earns an average of N10,000 daily. You don’t have to have a lot of cars right away, you can start with just one car then gradually build your fleet. Also, if you can’t do it yourself, you could employ a driver to run the cab service on a hire purchase basis.

You can still maintain your regular job, employ a driver and register your car with Uber and the like.

See Also: Positioning of states to bite from the Lagos apple.

Event Planning

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

I consider this as a small business idea because you do not need much capital to start. The popular term for parties in Lagos State is ‘owambe’ and, boy, Lagosians love their owambe! There could as well be a party every day in Lagos. As an investor, you can tap into this by setting up your own event planning service and making money helping people in organizing their events.

Day Care For Kids

It is known that most of the residents in Lagos belong to the working class which comprises working mothers who need help looking after their kids. You can start a standard daycare center that helps in this function.

See Also: Top business opportunities in Lagos and how to clinch them.

Hair Styling And Sale Of Cosmetics

This is a lucrative small business idea because Lagosians are known for being trendy and fashion-conscious. They can benefit from this service. You can set up a unisex saloon grooming the men and styling the women. You can also sell cosmetic products in a large or small scale.

Fitness Center

Most people do not mind setting a little cash aside to engage in fitness activities. People want to look slay these days. You could establish a reputable fitness center to help people achieve their fitness goals. You can also offer home services where you can organize training for interested persons who have special needs.

See Also: Creative business ideas for fresh graduates in Nigeria.

Owning A Bar

As a result of the stress of work, traffic, or whatnot, most people need to unwind, feel better and hang out with friends. You could offer a solution in terms of a good place to relax and unwind after a stressful day or week. Depending on the standard of service you will want to offer, this may not be considered a small business idea. It can also be considered as a small business idea if you just want to start small.

Start A Dry Cleaning Service

You could open a dry cleaning outlet or a laundry mart which would cater to the working class and people who do not have time to get their laundry done. Make it comfortable enough and even offer add-on services so it becomes a one-stop.

See Also: How to start a wholesale distribution business.

Phone Sales And Repairs

Nigeria is ranked one of the top in mobile phone usage. Selling of phones and repairs could be very lucrative. An example of a successful phone retail outlet is SLOT.  Ikeja (capital of Lagos) hubs ‘the computer village’ where phone sales and repairs are done.

Personal research of mine has shown that a local phone repairer makes a minimum of N12,000 everyday and learning this skill takes not more than 4 months. You could as well be a major distributor for certain brands of mobile phones. Sometimes, information and going out there to look for opportunities is all that it takes.

Car Washing

Given the volume of cars plying the roads of Lagos, the condition of most roads in the state, and the lack of time to wash their cars, most people use the car wash. A car washing business is one of those businesses that will always thrive. You can partner with petrol stations.

See Also: 10 Top business ideas for a stay at home mom in Nigeria.

Clothing Business

The working class, the student, the poor, the rich… everyone wears clothes. Whether it is setting up a shop or going into the mobile clothing business, clothes are items that never run extinct. Every time people ask me for small business ideas they can start with little capital, I always suggest the clothing business to them.

You can also go into the tailoring business. Uniforms have to be made for schools opening businesses every day. People want ready-made wear now because they can no longer deal with disappointments from tailors. You can either make the clothes yourself or hire people who can, then you run the business aspect of it. Platforms like Jumia, Konga, etc make it easy to sell your products in bulk.

See Also: 20 ways to make money from the booming Nigerian wedding industry.

Domestic Services

There are a couple of domestic services available. For example, Nigeria’s epileptic power supply has made most people dependent on their generators. This means they will always need someone to service or fix their faulty generators. For most working-class people who do not usually have time on their hands, they might need help with the cleaning of their houses or compounds. You could provide this service.

Co-working Spaces

The issue of power supply which not only affects the state but the country as well makes it difficult to conduct business. Based on personal research, most businesses have to run on a generator for at least 12 hours a day and with a state that is prone to unexpected fuel scarcity, it could be tough making ends meet. Good internet availability is also a serious concern for businesses.

You can tap into this business opportunity and provide fully serviced office facility for businesses to work from. This becomes even more attractive if you can offer flexible payment plans.

Currently, this is still a new trend. ReDahlia Workspaces which is located at 43B Emina Crescent off Toyin Street, Ikeja is one of the finest for all your business needs. When you work from a very comfortable and interactive co-working space, you will get new small business ideas from interactions with the community in the space.

See Also: 10 profitable home business ideas to invest in.


Ultimately, even with so many small business ideas,  you have to be perceived as street wise or ‘sharp’ in order to run a successful business in Lagos, or ‘Eko,’ as it is commonly called.

In my opinion, Lagos State still remains one of the few places in the country where a business owner will face the least of challenges considering that the state government has relentlessly stated, in words and actions – with its several policies, that they intend to make every legitimate business thrive.

Let’s create visibility for your brand and put your business on the world map. Contact us today to make your brand the preferred choice for our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Photo Credit: VentureAfrica



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