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Top business ideas for women

15 What is the Best Business for Women
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More women in Nigeria are now moving away from being just homemakers to being homemakers and an earning member of the household. Over the years, a lot of business ideas for women have been making waves in Nigeria. The internet and social media are full of online ‘celebrities’ that claim to be making millions from home. While you can easily start a business at home, it is important to be realistic about it.

How easy is it to start your business?

Regardless of what you may have heard until now, starting a business ideas for women is not all that hard.

While you may not start making a lot of money right away, you can easily start any of the various simple business for ladies and make a steady income for yourself.

If you want to be self-employed but are not sure what you should start with- then you are not alone.

Answering a few questions like the ones below will you get started:

  • What activities do you like?
  • Do you have proficiency in any area/skill?
  • What is your aim for starting your business?
  • Is there something that you would love learning?

What do you want from the business?

Before you start going over all the business ideas for women in Nigeria, you must first know why you want to start one.

If you just need to create an alternative income, then doing something like selling services/products for a brand may do it for you.

With such a business idea, you do not require a complete business plan or extensive capital.

You also get the flexibility of working as per your schedule and targets.

RELATED: How to register a company and a business name in Nigeria

In case your primary aim of becoming self-employed is to spend more time at home, then it is important to find those areas where you can work around your family’s schedule.

However, entrepreneurship and being your boss is the goal.

Then you need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

This will not only help your network but also become more resourceful.

Social Media Management

  • Skills Required: Social media following, knowledge about the internet and social media
  • Investment: Low
  • Equipment: Internet connectivity

If you are one of those women who enjoy a large following on social media, then you are missing out on one of the most profitable ideas for women to make money.

We are not talking about using your social media to sell products or to advertise another business.

Social media management and consulting are the most profitable home business ideas for women who have a social media following and know how it works.

As Nigerian businesses learn the advantages and opportunities that the internet provides them with, many are still not using social media to its full potential.

This is where you step in.

As a social media consultant, your job would be to help brands create their online presence.

You would help brands in setting themselves apart from the competition and engaging with their audience, among other things.

The best part about this business is that you do not need to step out of your home for this.

You can also manage social media for clients who afford it.

Top Nigerian celebrities and influencers hire professional social media managers.

Their job is to maintain the social media account, interact with the public in a way that befits their image.

And use it to promote the celebrity’s partner brands and labels.

For women who are already spending a lot of time on social media, this is like a dream job.

You can easily turn it into a business and make a lot of money with this simple business for ladies.

Local Food Restaurant

  • Skills Required: Cooking
  • Investment: Varies, low-high depending on the type of establishment
  • Equipment: Cooking equipment, ingredients as per cuisine

Starting your local restaurant comes across as one of the best business ideas for women.

To start this, most women already have the most important skill- cooking.

Starting a restaurant business is easy once you set your mind to it.

Here is a quick stepwise guide for all that you need to do.

  • Decide the type of restaurant you plan to open. It could be a fast-food joint, a QSR or quick-service restaurant, or even a takeaway service.
  • Have a rough estimate of expenses for at least the 1st 3 months. Do not expect any profits at that time- so ensure that you can sustain it until then. A QSR or takeaway service is low-capital businesses to start if you have the kitchen area.
  • Purchase the cooking equipment, ingredients, and other things that you may need.
  • Hire 1-2 people to help you with the preparation of the food, service, delivery, or to handle the books as required. For a takeaway service, you can start on your own and scale-up employees as your order volume increases.

The above steps are only an outline of what you need to do for starting your food business.

What type of food business

Depending on what type of food business and establishment you want to set up, you will have a lot more things to do.

If there are any applications/aggregators like UberEats and Jumia near your location.

Then you can also sign up with them to start a delivery-only business.

This is generally easier; little investment is required, and you simply have to register your business with them.

Most aggregators charge a certain percentage of each order as the delivery and platform fees.

Thus, the factor that along with the running costs of your business to decide the menu prices.

Event Management/ Planning Business

  • Skills Required: People management, knowledge about different event types, food, décor.
  • Investment: Low
  • Equipment: No special equipment needed

If you have people skills and are looking for a business idea with little investment, then event planning is for you.

As people become increasingly busy, they have little time to prepare for the important things in life- be it birthdays, weddings, social gatherings, etc.

To ensure that everything is in place for those special days, they hire event planners or managers who take that responsibility for them.

Some of the most successful event planners are those who started in some areas and gradually expanded from thereon.

As an event manager, the most important thing that you will require is to know all the vendors for different events.

Be it a corporate event, wedding, product launch, or anything else- a lot of vendors will be needed to make it successful.

Start by building a base of well-known vendors such as caterers, rental furniture providers, transport services to bring guests to and from the venue, décor services, etc.

Many online directories list all the different vendors required for different events.

And cover everything ranging from caterers to bakers, makeup artists, taxi services, videographers, and so on.

Event management is a business that you can easily start from your home if you have the required skills.

For starting with event management, you can take a few lessons on effective planning if you do not have any prior experience.

People are trusting you with their special days, so it is important to make them as memorable as possible.

You can easily start this business from your home without any dedicated office space.

FMCG Distribution

  • Skills Required: Marketing/sales, communication.
  • Investment: Medium-high depending on goods value
  • Equipment: Storage space

FMCG or Fast-Moving Consumer Goods are those products that cost low and get sold quickly.

These include things like beverages, packed foods, OTC drugs, toiletries, and similar consumables.

An FMCG distribution business is lucrative as it requires little capital.

The basic idea of this business is that you buy goods from a manufacturer/producer and then resell or distribute them to smaller retailers (not the end-customers) on profit.

Once you register your business, you can contact any FMCG manufacturer and become a distributor with them.

States like Port Harcourt and Lagos have a lot of companies that are always on the lookout for distributors.

Thus, if you are living there or nearby, then you’/r task is even simpler.

Most FMCG products are regular household items that get sold quickly.

You will need some training or education on how to manage stock and sales, maintain balance sheets, and running your distribution channel.

You can easily learn all this online for there are plenty of resources for that.

It is one of the best small business ideas who like interacting with people and are into marketing.

The most important aspect of starting this business is to register it.

The majority of the manufacturers work only with corporates and not individual people.

Thus, before you reach out to any producer/manufacturer, your business must be registered with the CAC.

You will require a warehouse or storage room for keeping the goods.

In case you have limited capital, you can start with goods like cosmetics and other similar products where you do not require cold storage or other special conditions.

Rental Business

  • Skills Required: No special skills
  • Investment: Medium (above N 5,000)
  • Equipment: Rental furniture, the vehicle for delivery

One of the most unexplored business ideas is a rental business.

As the term suggests, it involves giving out plastic chairs and tables to people at rent.

People use this furniture for their events and ceremonies.

You simply purchase the furniture and give it on rent at a certain rate.

What makes this a lucrative venture is that it generates a steady passive income.

Once you make the initial investment, there are no other costs involved.

Simply set up and relax!

If you have little time to devote to your business, then the rental business is the right choice.

Events like weddings, birthdays, etc. are always happening.

Organizers are always on the lookout for chairs and tables available for those.

You can also invest in canopies and other items that are frequently sought for on rent as you scale up.

You must also have your vehicle to transport them.

This will allow you to provide an even better service.

Consider investing in a vehicle for your business if you do not already have one.

Put indelible marks on all your tables, chairs, and canopies.

It is not only for branding but also helps to prevent theft and makes the renter accountable.

Similarly, brand your vehicle as well- it helps a lot in marketing.

Once you have the required chairs, tables, and a way to deliver, start spreading the word.

Even word of mouth publicity goes a long way in getting clients for this business.

Talk to your friends, people in your social circle, and any event planners you may know.

You may just be surprised at the high demand for chairs and tables for rent in the market.

Catering Business

  • Skills Required: Culinary skills, restaurant management
  • Investment: High (above N 50,000)
  • Equipment: Cooking and catering equipment, vehicles for transport, staff

Do you incline cooking and hospitality but never explored it yet?

If not, then catering is the best of businesses that you can explore.

While it is one of the most elaborate of business ideas in the list, it is not that hard to start.

You do not have to begin by taking orders for a wedding of 500 people.

Starting as a caterer can be as simple as providing food for a birthday party of a kid in the neighbourhood.

As people become increasingly busier, the demand for caterers is only to increase.

If you are looking for small business ideas for women, then you can start by catering for small gatherings and family events- birthday parties and family get-togethers.

Next level

Instead of approaching this in a complicated manner- registering a business, creating a plan, hiring people, etc.- approach it like taking your cooking skills to the next level.

Before you begin, you will need a couple of things.

Your catering business must have a name.

Once you decide on that, register it.

Also, you should have a few sample menus that you can fully prepare on your own.

Instead of going with complex items, go with dishes that you can prepare best.

Ensure that they are items that would be ideal for festive occasions, gatherings, and celebrations.

You can start your catering business by taking responsibility for events and gatherings in your family, friends, and social circle.

This will give everyone a chance to see your skills in action.

In such events, brand as much as you can.

Have a business name, have custom-made aprons for you and your staff, and think of other ways to demonstrate that this food is from your new catering venture.

Event Management/ Planning Business

  • Skills Required: People management, knowledge about different event types, food, décor.
  • Investment: Low
  • Equipment: No special equipment needed

If you have people skills and are looking for a business idea with little investment, then event planning is for you.

As people become increasingly busy, they have little time to prepare for the important things in life- be it birthdays, weddings, social gatherings, etc.

To ensure that everything is in place for those special days, they hire event planners or managers who take that responsibility for them.

Some of the most successful event planners are those who started in some areas and gradually expanded from thereon.

As an event manager, the most important thing that you will require is to know all the vendors for different events.

Be it a corporate event, wedding, product launch, or anything else- a lot of vendors will be needed to make it successful.

Start by building a base of well-known vendors such as caterers, rental furniture providers, transport services to bring guests to and from the venue, décor services, etc.

Many online directories list all the different vendors required for different events.

Also cover everything ranging from caterers to bakers, makeup artists, taxi services, videographers, and so on.

Event management is a business that you can easily start from your home if you have the required skills.

For starting with event management, you can take a few lessons on effective planning if you do not have any prior experience.

People are trusting you with their special days, so it is important to make them as memorable as possible.

You can easily start this business from your home without any dedicated office space.

Fashion Designing Business

  • Skills Required: Designing Clothes
  • Investment: Low
  • Equipment: Clothing material

The apparel market globally is worth over US$ 3 trillion.

Thus, there is a lot of scope in becoming a fashion designer in Nigeria.

The demand for new fashion is always on the rise- and if you have the talent, you can carve a profitable niche in it.

This, however, is a big and saturated industry as well.

This means you will need skills and passion to achieve success in it.

For starting your fashion designing business, you need to know what your target audience will be.

What is the latest trend, colours, designs, etc. that they are into?

What is their purchasing power?

Questions like these will help you figure out what kind of fashion designer you want to be.

Instead of launching your label, you can also work for clothing brands as a fashion designer.

However, if you want to design and sell your apparel, then the best route to go is online.

With the internet, anyone can showcase and monetize their skills.

You also have access to a global marketplace.

If your designs have what the customer wants, you can sell it anywhere in the world from Nigeria.

Ecommerce sites like Amazon, Etsy, and many others have everything required for selling to other countries.

You can also use social media to publicize your brand and its designs.

A lot of fashion designers are seeking the help of social media influencers for promoting their brands and designs.

This can be a good platform for you to get your name out there as you start selling.

Daycare

  • Skills Required: No special skills
  • Investment: Medium (above N 5,000)
  • Equipment: Rental furniture, a vehicle for delivery

If you are a stay-at-home mom, then turning it into a business may just be the right idea for you.

Many working parents prefer to leave their kids in daycare while they go to work.

A daycare facility is nothing less than a money-making machine if you are good at handling children and have the skills for it.

The regulatory requirements to start your creche or daycare business in Nigeria are a little more than other businesses.

As the er, you need to register it with the CAC or Corporate Affairs Commission.

You will also require a certificate or a permit

The Ministry of Women Affairs is responsible for permits to start a creche.

The fee for this permit differs as per the location.

It is higher in some areas such as Victoria Islands as compared to places like Ikorodu.

It may take a few inspections and a couple of months for the certificate to come through.

Additionally, the owner must have an education degree, preferably a post-graduate diploma or higher.

You may have to demonstrate your qualification as a trained are a giver.

Further, certifications/training like first-aid training, courses at the local health centres, etc. may also be needed.

You can start it from your home as well.

However, your home must have safe and child-accessible equipment and activities.

The inspection will cover safety measures at the creche, so ensure you have taken care of those and comply with all regulations.

All employees in a creche need to go through mandatory background checks for the safety of the children. In most cases, a child to adult ratio of 5:1 is mandatory.

This means that there must be 1 adult for every 5 children.

If you have the patience and skill to care for other’s children, then this is among the most lubricative business for ladies with low investment.

Blogging

  • Skills Required: Language/writing, SEO skills
  • Investment: None
  • Equipment: PC/Laptop, Internet connectivity

One of the easiest and least capital-intensive way to make money off the internet is to become a blogger.

If you are reading this, then you already have internet connectivity and probably a PC/laptop too.

This is all you need to become a blogger.

Before we talk about how you can become a blogger, let us see some of the ways by which a blogger makes money:

  • Through ads for other websites/brands on their blog:You make money for every click and view on the ad. Programs like Google AdSense are the most popular ones for this.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Promoting products on e-shopping sites on your blog.
  • Promoting other blogs
  • Sponsored posts: Featuring content, reviews, and products in their blog posts
  • Writing guest posts on other popular blogs

The hardest part of starting a blog is deciding what to write about.

You can start a blog about anything ranging from your experiences to an interesting topic, tech reviews, and so on.

It must be something that makes people visit your website regularly.

Once you have that, work on a few posts.

Before you start building the website, you should have 4-5 blog posts ready.

Creating your blog is the easiest part

Platforms like Blogger and WordPress let you set up your blog within minutes.

You do not need any web designing experience to get that done.

You can opt for free hosting or pay a few dollars to get hosting and a custom domain as well.

Making money off your blog can take some time.

You need to consistently post good content, optimize it for SEO, and promote the blog across multiple channels.

Check out some popular Nigerian blogs to get an idea of how they post, the most popular content and niche on them, and what strategies you can replicate for success in your blog.

Drop-Shipping Business

  • Skills Required: Sales and marketing.
  • Investment: Low (around N5,000)
  • Equipment: PC/Laptop, internet connection

One of the best businesses ideas for women is drop-shipping.

In this, you sell products but do not have to worry about storing or shipping them.

A buyer places an order for the product on your website/e-portal

You then forward the same to the manufacturer who takes care of order fulfilment.

Everything from the packaging to shipping is taken care of by the manufacturer.

In this online business, you do not maintain any inventory, own a warehouse, or manufacture the product.

To start with the dropshipping business, the first thing you need to do is decide on a niche.

Pick something that is in demand, and you have full knowledge of.

This will allow you to set yourself apart from the competition and gain customers quickly.

You must focus on the product range for successful marketing.

Next, you will need a reliable supplier.

This is where you need to spend the maximum time.

Conduct due diligence

For business in Nigeria, some of the best suppliers are generally overseas, the majority being in China.

Alibaba is a good place to start.

It is the largest online resource for connecting with suppliers and manufacturers.

Ask a lot of questions, learn their production capacities, and how quickly they can scale up.

Once you have found the supplier, you need to start working on setting up your platform.

You can choose any of the popular e-commerce sites like Konga and Jumia.

This takes care of a lot of hassles that you may not have the resources to handle as you start.

You can also set up your online store.

This will take more time and resources, then signing up on an eCommerce website.

You need a developer (if you do not have the skills), graphic designer, purchase hosting, and so on.

You then need to start promoting your business.

Digital marketing (which again is one of the best businesses for women) can be a powerful tool to help you in this.

Use social media and your circle to spread the word and get started with selling online.

Content Writing Business

  • Skills Required: Writing/language, academic/domain knowledge
  • Investment: Low
  • Equipment: Laptop/PC, internet connectivity

If you are looking for business ideas with little or no investment, then a content writing business is right for you.

As the name suggests, you will work by providing content for brands, websites, blogs, and anyone who may need it.

Some of the most successful writing businesses in Nigeria, such as writers.ng, provide content to clients globally.

You can get into creative writing, business documentation, write scholarship papers, create resumes, and so on.

The list is endless- and so are the opportunities.

Instead of focusing just on freelance gigs, your aim must be to make a business from content writing.

You will need some experience and testimonials to start.

You can search for those through portals like Upwork.

Once you have some experience, positive reviews from a few clients, and some content for your portfolio, you can start your own content writing business.

As with any other business, marketing is key to getting clients and creating a name for yourself.

As a content writer, your marketing efforts need to be different than any other business.

Use forums like Quora and Medium to showcase your writing skills.

You can also link them to your profile.

Having your website (which is easy these days using Blogger and WordPress) is another great way to get your name out there.

Once you have a regular stream of clients, you can begin scaling up and hiring more writers.

You may just be surprised by the demand for content writers over the internet.

Bakery Business

  • Skills Required: Baking
  • Investment: High (around N 100,000)
  • Equipment: Bakery equipment, oven, raw material

When it comes to food business ideas for women, a bakery is generally among the top choices.

Even simple bakery products like good quality bread are always in demand in the Nigerian market.

The margins are high, and the initial capital requirement is low.

However, before you start this business, you must have some experience or trainer as a baker.

In case you do not have all the necessary capital, you can also consider getting a small business loan if you are sure about committing to the business.

For a bakery business, you need approval from NAFDAC.

This is the National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and control.

Between inspection and approval, it may take around 6 months to 1 year.

You also need to register your business with CAC the Corporate Affairs Commission, a requirement for any business in Nigeria.

There are a couple of other things that you need to take care of as well.

Your bakery’s location must be away from high-pollution industries and drainages.

Safety measures like emergency exits and fire extinguishers need to be there.

You must have a comprehensive management and operations plan.

You may be wondering that it seems like setting up this business is a lot of work.

While that is true, it also has rewards that equal the effort.

Lagos alone has a consumption of 10 million bread loaves each day.

And talking about profitability, a standard loaf of sliced bread costs about N80 to produce.

This considers all associated costs and overhead

The selling price from the baker to the supplier is N130; the supplier to the retailer is around N170.

And the final consumer pays anywhere above N200 for the same loaf.

By now, you should begin to understand what makes this one of the most profitable business ideas for women.

Affiliate Marketing

  • Skills Required: SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media.
  • Investment: Low
  • Equipment: PC, Internet connectivity

Affiliate marketing is one of the best business ideas for women with low investment.

All you need is a laptop, internet connectivity, and the will to learn.

A lot of successful bloggers, webmasters, and entrepreneurs are generating high income through affiliate marketing.

To start with affiliate marketing, you need first to understand what it is all about.

As an affiliate marketer, brands and websites pay you for driving paying customers to their platforms.

You earn a commission for every purchase that a referred person makes on a particular platform/website.

To start with affiliate marketing, you can register with many of the free courses online to learn about the business and how it works.

Next, you need a platform where you will promote the product.

Blogs are among the most popular mediums for affiliate marketers.

It can even be a YouTube channel, a social media account, or anyplace where you can generate high traffic for your affiliate partner.

After you join a brand or website’s affiliate program, you have to select the products that you wish to sell.

Unique ID

You are a unique affiliate ID or code that you use for referring to the target website.

Many affiliate programs also provide readymade banners, text links, and other types of creative copies.

You simply have to copy and place it on your website/YouTube channel or share it with your audience.

When a visitor clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you as the affiliate marketer earn a commission.

One of the most popular affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria, run by Jumia.

You can make up to 11% commission for each sale on Jumia through your affiliate link.

It also has a large product catalogue for you to choose from.

Other popular platforms that offer affiliate programs include Konga, Amazon, Shopify, and AliExpress.

Web Development Business

  • Skills Required: Web development (HTML, CSS, Javascript), Content Management System
  • Investment: Low
  • Equipment: PC/Laptop, internet connectivity

Business all over the world is catching up with the digital age and racing to get online.

Nigeria is not behind- and all types of businesses are now realizing the importance of being on the world’s largest 24×7 marketplace.

A website is the most basic requirement for building an online presence- and thus comes the demand for web development professionals.

To start with the web development business, you only require a basic PC/laptop with internet connectivity.

Everything that you need to know to become a web developer can learn for free.

Platforms like FreeCodeCamp provide a very extensive tutorial that you can follow to become a web developer from scratch.

Such business ideas for women is easy to start with and also have a potential for high income.

You can also take the help of YouTube and courses on Udemy to learn web development.

W3Schools provides a free online platform to practice HTML, Javascript, CSS, and many other scripting and programming languages.

Learn web development

As you learn web development, the first step to start your business is to create a website for it.

You must put in as much effort and creativity as you can.

This website will be the showcase for your web development skills.

It should highlight what you are good at, the services you provide and the technology stack you can work on.

Once you have a website for your business, you can start reaching out to small businesses for making their website.

You can even make 1 or 2 for free to get a positive referral from the business and some more experience with web development.

Web developers are demand in Nigeria and the world- and you have several ways of cashing in on this demand.

Online Tutoring Business

  • Skills Required: Academic/ subject knowledge (preferably college degree/diploma), teaching ability
  • Investment: Low
  • Equipment: PC/Laptop, internet connectivity

Online teaching can be one of the most interesting business ideas for woman and those who have a college degree/diploma.

The demand for quality educators is increasing across Nigeria, and the internet has paved the way for e-learning businesses.

Students are not constrained by location and can now learn from the best subject experts regardless of where they may be.

In regular tutoring, you are limited to only those students who live near your home.

However, online tutoring allows you to reach out to students anywhere in Nigeria or the world.

You can sign up on any of the popular Nigerian tutoring platforms to start your teaching business.

Tutor.ng, Tuteria, and Proteach are some platforms that you can check out to start with.

Another way for you to start with the e-learning business is to create your course and publish it on MOOC platforms like Udemy.

Unlike personalized tutoring, students on these platforms watch the videos and learn at their own pace.

This also gives you a more flexible business opportunity.

You will need good-quality recording devices to create a video for your course.

These courses can be about anything ranging from academic subjects to programming and skills like photography and music.

You get paid every time someone purchases your course.

As their tutor/mentor, you can also interact with students, resolve their doubts, and provide additional help as they may require.

The list goes on…

The ideas that we covered above are just a few of the best business ideas for women.

There are many other small business ideas for women that require low investment to start with.

Depending on what you are good at and love to do, you can pick anything.

Becoming a programmer, starting your online sales business, Multi-Level Marketing, mystery shopper, translation and transcribing, and so on- there is a lot more than you can do.

The most important thing is to pick a business that you are passionate about and get on it.

Nothing is easy- even the best business ideas for women demand effort.

You may not start making millions from day one, but it is important to start and consistently put effort into it.

Nigeria has a lot of business ideas opportunities for women.

You can pick any of those and make a lot of money even while sitting at home.

Thus- do not just read about successful business owners online.

Pick a business idea that you love and begin working on creating your business today.

This may just be the start of your success story!