The year 2016 is a historic year in Nigeria, a year similar to 1991 with a harsh recession resetting almost all segments of the economy. For the first time in 25yers, the economy witnessed a shortfall in GDP growth two quarters in a row, effectively sliding the economy into recession.
Although economic recession takes a negative toll on companies, businesses, and all segments of economy, it also has some positives because during the rebound of the economy, many opportunities present itself.
Even though experts are divided on the exact date Nigeria will come out of recession, the general opinion suggests that it will end in 2017. This without a doubt will open more doors and opportunities to the discerning minds.
In this article, I am going to explore possible profitable business ideas to watch out for in 2017:
Canned food production:
Among the 41 items banned from importation into Nigeria are Meat and processed meat products, Vegetables and processed vegetable products, Margarine and Tinned fish in sauce (Geisha)/sardines. While importers are crying over the embargo, this is a golden opportunity for local producers to take over the canned food production market. I see a lot of entrepreneurs diving into this in 2017 on a large scale as the raw materials are readily available. There was a report of Nigerian customs impounding imported processed food from India such as egwusi soup, jellof rice, porridge yams, etc. This is a laudable move by NCS as it is totally uncalled for. Local manufacturers can take advantage of the fact that Nigerians love processed food and invest massively on canned food production.
Tomatoes/tomato pastes production:
This is a very promising profitable venture to invest on in 2017. Thankfully Tomatoes/tomato pastes are also included on the list of banned products. Early November 2016, a leading indigenous local tomato paste manufacturer, Erisco Foods Limited, made good its threat of shutting down the $150bn plant and relocating its manufacturing base to a location outside Nigeria, thanks to recession, but that also present opportunities to other entrepreneurs to fill up the gap. I see a lot of smart Nigerians investing in tomato pastes production in 2017.
Regardless of how much hype you have heard on e-commerce industry in the past, 2016 changed a lot of things positively as a result of the economic recession which brought online money making Ponzi schemes in Nigeria. While everyone is waiting for the impending crash of the scheme, I see it all from a different angle: it has successfully brought new internet users into Nigeria’s cyberspace. More people are now interested in using the internet which on the long run will impact positively on the e-commerce industry. Smart Nigerians see this opportunity just as I have stated, and in 2017 many e-commerce sites will spring up, now is the time to join the trend.
Cassava is predominately known as one of the traditional food to the local farmers in Nigeria. Cassava is one of the most popular and widely consumed food crops in Africa. Because it is such an important food in the region and an extremely versatile crop, it is commonly referred to as cornerstone of food security in Africa. The competing needs for cassava cut across both human and animal consumption. It is fast becoming a popular raw material in industrial production and is now a preferred material for making biofuels. There are a lot of bi-products that can be produced from cassava such as garri, Cassava Bread, Cassava Flour, and Cassava Fufu. Smart entrepreneurs can venture into any of these businesses or even get involved in producing all.
Fish farming is an evergreen venture in Nigeria as it is a necessity in every home. Many business men are begging to see this opportunity and in 2017 I see a lot more entrepreneurs diving into it on a larger scale.
So much has been said about the environment this year. Big players like the US and China are going big about safeguarding the environment. True, Nigeria may not have gotten to the point where we cut our fossil fuel reliance and go completely green. But Nigerian entrepreneurs are not giving up. Waste recycling is a good project for the environment.
Paper Bag Production
Still on the environment, I expect plastic bags to gradually go out of use from 2017 (maybe not that immediate but bound to happen at some point); they are not good for the environment. Paper bags have got good shouts in other African countries with nations like South Africa, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, etc all imposing a ban on plastic bags. How long before our beloved Nigeria follows suit? No matter how long it takes, investing in paper bag production will be worth it.
Blogging is not the only way you can establish yourself as an expert and make money out of your knowledge. Many people now take online courses to make up for the knowledge they could not get in the classroom. There is a big opportunity in this niche. If you can deliver tutorials on topics people are interested in learning, people will gratefully pay you to learn them. Starting your own online tutorials does not take much. For a start you can sign up as an instructor on Udemy and later, develop your own blog/platform.
Every year is a good year for real estate business. 2017 will not be an exception. The major drawback in real estate business is the amount of capital it requires for startup. There’s a way around it. Oluwatobi Oladele delivered a lecture on how you can start your own lucrative real estate business with very little capital. So why not give it a go in 2017?
Mobile Food Vending Business
If you love cooking, mobile food vending will be a good and lucrative way to get into the catering business in 2017. The Igwe Brothers started Speedmeals Mobile Kitchen in 2010; they agree that in 2016, the market is still as open as ever. I expect more caterers to go mobile in 2017 because people will appreciate having their food brought to them. The major challenge with this, as with any food business, is getting peoples’ trust. You do this with proper hygiene, tasty meals and timely, consistent delivery. It will also put a lot of ‘mama put’ on their toes to improve their quality of their cooking.
The increase in eCommerce businesses will open doors for more delivery/courier companies to emerge. If you are shipping goods from Owerri to Lagos, someone has to deliver them. Cost of shipping is a hindrance to eCommerce business in Nigeria. More delivery companies will provide healthy competition, forcing down prices. This is a good thing. How to start a small courier company? Read this article.
Take your pick: blogging, freelancing, information marketing, affiliate marketing, there are plenty. More people will make more money online in 2017 than they did in 2016. It is no longer a secret that people make full income on the internet. By the way, if you plan on starting a blog in 2017, I wrote an article on top 18 blog topic ideas that should make you the most money. Check it out and let me know what you think.
The Nigerian tech industry is in the spotlight for many good reasons. We have seen Nigerians develop award winning apps like OkadaBooks, Find-A-Med, BudgIT, AfriNolly, etc. Because the tech industry is proving very lucrative, more people will look to explore their creative tech side in 2017. Tech bloggers like OgbongeBlog and NaijaTechGuide have been making money for a long time now. I expect more people to follow their lead in 2017. This is a brilliant opportunity for the tech person.
There are two ways to make money through what you know: you can do what you know and you can teach people how to do what you know. For our tech industry to keep booming, people will need ways to learn coding/programming.
Like real estate, every year will always be a good year for transportation. Uber has challenged the way transportation works in Nigeria and now we see startups like FindMyRide and GoMyWay creating innovations in the transport sector. Taxi drivers are no longer the old men driving rickety cars, polluting everywhere with smoke. You too can make money in transportation. The opportunities are endless.
Private labeling means you don’t have to spend huge amounts on machinery or factory before you have something produced in your name. Entrepreneur Dilim Okeke made a convincing case for private labeling in her new book, Business Big Time. It is a book every entrepreneur should read. It details new and affordable ways of getting into the production business without spending tons of money.
About the Author:
I am Ezekiel Enejeta, a seasoned publisher and internet marketer. I love writing about opportunities, finance, business and sometimes politics. Follow me on twitter @