Business ideas for 2016: Over 100+ Amazing Ways To Make Money in Nigeria this Year!

Business ideas for 2016 - New Featured Image - 1200x627

My good friend, Peter, is one of the smartest persons I know. But in December last year, he lost his job.

He used to work for one of the big oil and gas companies, and his job was what you would consider as ‘steady’, ‘well-paid’ and ‘secure’.

But these days, nobody’s job is steady and secure in Nigeria, especially with the crazy economy.

Since the effects of the slump in international crude oil prices hit Nigeria, no less than 450,000 people in this country have lost their jobs across several sectors, especially in banking, oil and gas, manufacturing and telecoms.

Sadly, this trend of job losses will likely continue throughout 2016 as Nigeria’s economy tightens further.

If your plan for 2016 is to brush up your CV and look for a job or a better one, I wish you the best of luck. Ask those who have been looking, there are no jobs anywhere.

Throughout history, in times of economic difficulty, salary earners are one of the worst hit, and they usually suffer the most.

That’s why 2016 is the year that entrepreneurship, and not employment, will be the best way to make a living in Nigeria.

Peter had never imagined he would ever be out of a job. Now, with a wife, two young children, and several relatives who depend on him, he has started thinking very seriously about ‘smart’ ways to make a living this year.

Fortunately, one person’s problem is another person’s opportunity. In this article, I’m going to show you a few smart and amazing ways you can create opportunities for yourself in 2016.

I’ll also give you real life examples and success stories of Nigerians like you who are already exploiting these lucrative business opportunities.

1.  Online Services

Business ideas for 2016 - Printivo

The guys in the picture above are the founders of Printivo, a small business located in the Yaba area of Lagos. In October 2015, this young business received over $100,000 in funding from foreign investors.

Printivo is actually built on a simple business idea. It designs and prints corporate business cards, letterheads and notepads for all kinds of companies. The only difference is Printivo is a full-scale online service, customers can make their orders over the internet.

Printivo’s service is fast, convenient and very affordable. It’s no surprise the business has become very successful in a short time.

Just in case you haven’t noticed, online business models are taking over Nigeria. Products and services which used to only be available through physical and traditional channels are going online.

You can now buy phones, electronics and household appliances online (eg. Konga and Jumia). You can also buy food products online (eg. and

If you’re looking for the latest job vacancies, Jobberman is surely the place to go. If you want to watch the best Nigerian movies, IrokoTV is the village square. If you’re looking for hotel accommodation options anywhere in Nigeria, will easily do the magic!

So, as the days go by, more products and services are moving to the internet in Nigeria. But there are still many more that haven’t gone online yet.

Car spare parts, handicrafts and art work, personal and home care services (like nannies, drivers, chefs etc.). All of these and more are still unavailable online in Nigeria.

In 2016, more smart Nigerians are going to bring some of these online.

Will you be one of them?

2.  Footwear 

Business ideas for 2016 - Hesey Designs - Odiete Eseoghene

You got it right. The white guy in the picture is Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, and one of the richest guys in the world.

And the lady he’s giving a peck? That’s 20-something year-old Odiete Eseoghene, a Nigerian fashion entrepreneur and founder of Hesey Designs, a label that specializes in footwear. She only graduated from university about two years ago.

Guess what? Ese doesn’t even make the shoes herself. She works with skilled local footwear makers who bring her creative designs to life. Her designs are very unique because she blends local Nigerian fabrics and materials with western styles to create hybrids that are very beautiful and attractive.

Ese has won several awards and hit the spotlight when she designed the sneakers worn by Sir Richard Branson, during the launch of Virgin Atlantic’s new uniforms and 30th Anniversary celebration in London.

Fashion is a booming industry in Nigeria. No matter how the economy turns, people always want to look good. It’s just human nature. What’s more, in Naija we love swag!

Footwear is one of those interesting niches in the fashion industry that’s not yet as competitive as the rest. It will surely be a fertile ground for new businesses in the new year.

If a young and fresh university graduate can pull it off, what exactly is stopping you?

3.  Paper bags

Business ideas for 2016 - Paper bags

Did you know that Nigeria is one of just a handful of countries in Africa that still allow the unregulated use, importation and production of ‘nylon’ bags?

South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Cameroon, Rwanda, Botswana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi and even Mauritania have all banned or limited the use of nylon bags.

Plastic ‘nylon’ bags are dangerous to the environment. They clog drainage systems and cause flooding, and they’re one of the biggest killers of animals and wildlife. Worse still, with the growing consciousness of protecting the environment, nylon bags may not exist for very long in Nigeria.

In countries where the use of nylon bags have been banned or limited, there has been a boom in paper bag production.

Paper bags are a very viable alternative to nylon bags. They’re cheap and easy to produce, and they’re not harmful to the environment.

Businesses like supermarkets, fast food outlets, and pharmacies are just a few that will have a huge need for paper bag packaging. That’s where you come in! 

4.  Solar Power 

Business ideas for 2016 - Solar Power

Sunlight is the most abundant natural resource in Nigeria. Forget crude oil and solid minerals!

We receive no less than 300 days of free God-given sunlight every year, yet most parts of the country lack access to electricity and we all suffer serious power outages.

Solar is already changing people’s lives in Tanzania, Rwanda and most parts of East Africa. Even people in remote areas have access to round-the-clock electricity. Thanks to the amazing wonders of solar.

In Nigeria, solar is already making moves into the market. In 2016, and over this decade, I predict that a new generation of millionaires will emerge from the young solar power industry.

Have you noticed that even oil companies like Total are already selling solar-powered devices? In most Total petrol filling stations in Lagos and Abuja, these solar devices are sold under an ‘Awango’ brand.

So, if the ‘big boys’ are diversifying into solar, it’s time for smart Nigerian entrepreneurs to smell the cookie!

And mark my words, solar power will do to PHCN what mobile telecoms did to NITEL. It’s only a matter of time.

Solar power is the future. Don’t forget, I told you first.

Want More Interesting Business Ideas?

I have only just shared four interesting business ideas for 2016. There are 97 more to go!

Book Image_PNGIf you’re looking for proven business ideas and interesting opportunities you can exploit this year, then you should read this book.

The hardcover version of ‘101 Ways To Make Money in Africa’ is now available for sale in Nigeria. It’s the best and most detailed compilation of lucrative business ideas, market opportunities and inspiring success stories from across Africa.

Sadly, only limited copies of the hardcover are available. Hurry now and get your copy of the book before we run out of stock!

What Nigerians are already saying about the book…

Across the country, there’s been a lot of praise and positive feedback for the book. Bankers, doctors, entrepreneurs, investors, employees, and the unemployed are among the top readers of the book. Here’s what they’re saying:

I find the book very insightful. My wife just started cake baking training; she was inspired by your book. Uzo (Lagos)


The book changed my life. This is my 10th year as a bank staff but after reading your book I developed the confidence needed to start a small business this year. I might resign before the year is over. Nwafor (Abuja)


Your book was very inspiring and I’m happy I got myself a copy. Lilian (Abuja)


The book was a real eye opener. I hope to start up a cooking gas retail/home delivery business and I will need your experience and coaching. Emmanuel (Kaduna)


Thank you for the book. I have actually started my animal farm though in small quantity. I hope to grow gradually in it and possibly expand someday. Michael (Abuja)


God bless you for the book. I’m a medical doctor, and I’m looking forward to a business in the health sector. Babayemi (Kaduna)


The book is indeed an eye opener. I wrote some ideas down but i think I need to re-read the book one more time! Thank you. Titi (Lagos)


I have read and finished the book. I enjoyed it. I’m already putting something together. As we advance, I will let you know my challenges. Ifeanyi (Lagos)


I am not done reading the book yet, but the few chapters I have read have sparked ideas and I have made up my mind on going into the solar power biz. Eniola (Lagos)


I want to use this medium to tell you that your book is one in a million. It is a must read book, may Almighty God increase you with more wisdom. Muili (Lagos)


I loved every single bit of the book. In fact I’m more than inspired to take on a new business venture in 2016. Thank you. Kizito (Abuja)


The book was well written and I found it very instructive and educative. Idowu (Lagos)


How to get the book?

There are five ways to get the book, and it will be delivered to your location anywhere in Nigeria. Better still, delivery to Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt is totally FREE! (Except Jumia)

1) To order the book on, Click Here.

2) To order the book on Jumia, Click Here.

3) To order the book on, Click Here

4) To order the book directly from our store, pay the sum of N5,999 to any of our accounts: Smallstarter Africa Ltd. GTB (0173339117), or UBA (1018785844). After payment, send your Full Name, Delivery Address and Mobile Number to The book will be delivered to you within 3-7 business days, depending on your location.

Important Note: Under this option, if you DO NOT live in Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt, you should include an additional delivery charge to your payment as follows: State Capitals, e.g Ibadan, Benin, Kaduna etc. (N1,500), Other locations (N3,000).

Have any questions, comments or enquiries? You can call us on 0703 444 2605. If you’d like to come pick up your copy by yourself, our address is Smallstarter Africa, Block V, Road 6, Abraham Adesanya Estate, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

5) If you’re outside Nigeria, you can order your copy of the book on or download a PDF version at the Official Book Website.

Again, we have very limited copies of the hardcover available in stock. Get yours now before the holiday rush begins!

Ready to order?

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Or, order directly from our store using the details provided above.

By the way, if you know somebody like Peter, who has lost his/her job or is seriously considering smart sources of income in 2016, buy them a copy of this book as a gift. They’ll never forget you for it!


Not sure if this book will help you? Still having doubts? Rest easy!

We’re offering a full refund guarantee with the purchase of this book. This means that if you get the book and you’re not impressed by the content and quality, you can return it to us within 7 days after delivery and we’ll give you a full refund of the money you paid.

So, buying this book is 100% risk-free!

Happy now? 🙂

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BONUS e-BOOK ( You get this for FREE!)

50 Organisations That Can Give You Capital to Start & Grow Your Business in Africa.

1.1 50 Organisations that fund African businesses 9Are you looking for capital to start a new business or grow an already established company in Nigeria?

Have you tried other alternative sources of funding but failed? Is capital your biggest headache right now?

Smile, I’ve got good news for you!

Did you know there are over 50 international development funds, private investors and NGOs that specifically target and invest in small and medium-sized businesses in Africa?

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs and small businesses in Nigeria don’t apply for funding from these organisations because they don’t know about them.

This BONUS eBook contains the profiles, contact information and sound advice that you can use to get funding from any of these 50 organisations.

With this valuable information, you can start targeting these organisations for funding. Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and across Africa have received more than $100 million (in total) from these organisations over the last ten years.

This 60-page FREE BONUS eBook is only available to people who buy the main book, and you will find the instructions to download it in the Links & Resources section on page 270 of ‘101 Ways To Make Money in Africa’. 

Click Here to Order Now!

NB: If you have any comments or questions about anything you’ve read in this article, feel free to use the ‘Have Your Say!’ Comments section below. I’ll be waiting to interact. 😉

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About the Author:

John-Paul Iwuoha - 467x557John-Paul Iwuoha is an impact entrepreneur, SME Business Coach, and founder of Smallstarter Africa. He works with entrepreneurs and investors to start up and grow businesses in Africa. He is also the co-author of ‘101 Ways To Make Money in Africa‘, the widely-acclaimed book which reveals several interesting business ideas, market opportunities, and inspiring entrepreneur success stories across Africa. For the latest updates on business and entrepreneurship across Africa, follow Smallstarter on Twitter, @smallstarters

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