How to start a small business in Nigeria

Nigeria is a country with a growing economy and a population of over 200 million people. It is home to many small businesses, and starting one is a great way to tap into the growing market. 

However, starting a small business can be challenging, especially if you are new to the business world. 

In this article, we will give you tips on how to start a small business in Nigeria.

What is a Small Business?

A small business is a privately-owned business that typically employs a small number of employees. 

It is usually run by the owner or a few individuals who handle all aspects of the business. 

Small businesses are the backbone of most economies, and they play a crucial role in creating jobs and generating revenue.

Benefits of Starting a Small Business in Nigeria

Starting a small business in Nigeria has many benefits, including:

Job creation: 

Starting a small business in Nigeria can help create jobs and reduce unemployment. 

According to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics, unemployment in Nigeria stood at 33.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Economic growth: 

Small businesses contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy by generating revenue and taxes. They also help to diversify the economy and reduce reliance on oil.


As the owner of a small business, you have the flexibility to make decisions quickly and easily. 

You can also tailor your business to meet the needs of your customers.


Starting a small business can be fulfilling, especially if you are passionate about what you do. 

It gives you the opportunity to create something from scratch and make a difference in your community.

Steps to Start a Small Business in Nigeria

Conduct Market Research

Before starting a small business in Nigeria, it is important to conduct market research to determine the viability of your business idea. 

This involves gathering information about your target market, competition, and industry trends. It will help you to identify gaps in the market and opportunities for growth.

Registering Your Business

The next step to starting a small business in Nigeria is to register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). 

This process involves selecting a business name and submitting the necessary documents, such as your company's memorandum and articles of association.

The CAC is the regulatory body responsible for the registration and management of companies in Nigeria.

Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. 

It is essential to have a business plan before starting a small business in Nigeria as it helps you stay focused and on track. 

It also helps to attract investors and secure funding for your business. 

A typical business plan should include the following sections:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Products and services
  • Marketing and sales strategies
  • Financial projections

Financing Your Business

Funding is a crucial aspect of starting and growing a small business in Nigeria. There are several ways to get funding for your business, including:

Personal savings: 

You can use your personal savings to start your business. This is the most common source of funding for small businesses in Nigeria.

Bank loans: 

You can obtain a loan from a bank or other financial institution. However, it is important to have a good credit score and a solid business plan to increase your chances of getting a loan.


You can apply for grants from the government or other organizations. However, these grants are usually highly competitive, and you need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

Marketing Your Business

Marketing is crucial to the success of any business, and it involves promoting your products or services to your target audience. 

Some effective marketing strategies for small businesses in Nigeria include social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).

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