5 Hottest Industries for Start-Ups in Nigeria

Every year, thousands of youths graduate from universities and after their year long NYSC service to the nation, they return home jobless as ever. Over 6 million Nigerians are unemployed; this is alarming for such an endowed nation. There are vast natural resources in the country; from coal to iron to spacious land for farming and yet, job creation is at the bear minimal. ‘The nation’s rapid economic growth’, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, ‘has not translated into effective job creation’.

However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. In no particular order, here are the five hottest industries in the country that you can tap into:

1. Real Estate 

With a population of more than 160 million, spacious land and a growing economy, Nigeria has a huge property market. According to Deolu Dara, the Associate Vice President at the Nigerian-based Avante Property Asset Management, ‘the demand for property buyers amongst the middle class is higher than ever before’. In very populated cities like Lagos and Abuja, rental income alone hits about 10% in profit.

So, what does that mean for aspiring entrepreneurs? It means that if you successfully invest in real estate, you can earn a return on investment (ROI) up to 35%, according to many real estate developers in the country.

2. E-Commerce

While the real estate business is not for the average Nigerian, e-Commerce might be. With the growth of mobile phones and Internet technology in Nigeria, the e-Commerce sector is now worth more than N255billion, with an estimated growth rate of about 26% annually. Large e-Commerce ventures, like Konga.com, Jumia.com and DealDey.com have expanded the reach of the sector and reduce the scourge of unemployment in the country.

If you are tech savvy and have the start-up capital to purchase online tools, you can invest in e-Commerce and become financially independent.

3. Event Management

If you’re thinking of investing in a start-up, look no further than event management business. The reason is obvious. While Nigeria’s GDP is unimpressive, we have been blessed with different ethnicities, cultures and we are party people!

We love to celebrate everything from weddings to child dedications, birthdays and even death. Vendors ranging from event planners to caterers, disc jockeys and so on are making a living from event management. The opportunities in event management are endless  and anyone interested in this industry must have the necessary skill set to provide services to the party scenes.

4. Agriculture

Agriculture is the source of our livelihood, it was Nigeria’s major economic driver in the 70s and its the basic method of creating wealth and employment in any nation.

With the vast arable land in the country, not only is agriculture a hot industry, but will be the major source of Nigeria’s revenue in the near future (due to our declining crude oil production). From harvesting crops, to manufacturing, to livestock rearing, the agricultural sector contributes over 35% of the country’s GDP. Now is the time to earn a living by cultivating your land and investing in livestock trade.

5. Fashion

If you spoke about fashion as a career a decade ago, you may be mocked. Reason? This is simply because fashion designing back in those days was purely vocational. Today, the fashion industry is experiencing a boom, with many young and creative designers on the rise.

Nigeria is now a fashion hub, not only in Africa but also in the world at large. There are more than 500 Nigerian designers registered locally and internationally – from famous designers like Lisa Folawiyo to Deola Sagoe to Folake Coker and many more. Today, Nigerian fashion brands are not only showcased in the local stores; they are paraded on runway shows in New York, Paris and Pretoria.

If you’re looking to venture into the fashion industry, you can start right away. ‘You can start the fashion business with less than N50, 000,’ says Joy Darlington, a successful fashion designer in Port Harcourt. ‘You don’t even need to rent a shop; you can start right from your house’ she says.

Whether you’re an unemployed graduate or a veteran looking to diversify, you can venture into any of these industries and become successful.