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Best Small Business to Start in Nigeria and Africa

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cooking gas
  • Personal services are the most searched-for business to startup in 22.7% of African countries.
  • The recycling business is second on the list of most-searched-for businesses to startup in Africa.
  • POS ranks high in Nigeria.

CEM REPORT | With the way the economy of nations has been since COVID and the Russia-Ukraine war with no end in sight, several jobs have either gone obsolete or the firm has cut down on staff.

With unemployment still on the rise in many African countries who are most hit by the global crisis, starting a small business have become a means for many Africans to survive and earn a living.

The question on the minds of young entrepreneurs have always been what business to start or problem to solve to earn a living.


A recent survey by ZenBusiness has revealed that the businesses that most attract entrepreneurs vary from country to country and depend on various factors such as infrastructure, business climate, and culture

According to the survey, in 22.7% which is the largest share of African continent, Personal services are the most searched small business. These include interior design, cooking gas refills, and photography.

The report also revealed that although the range of businesses searched for by prospective entrepreneurs across Africa varies, searches related to starting a recycling business outnumber searches for any other business type.

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According to the survey the most searched for and attractive business in Nigeria s the  Point of sale (POS) business.

The POS was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as an agent banking system in 2013, basically to reach bank customers in remote, unbanked, and underbanked societies.

At commencement many individuals express skepticism on its profitability, however, the market for this business is large and diverse making it a lucrative business, partly due to the lack of access to banks within rural communities and remote settlements.

Although, POS are a retail channel provided by banks and other licensed operators, POS agents are not direct employees of banks or these operations and as such hold autonomy over their businesses.

POS agent basically offer deposit and withdrawal bank service, also they offer payment of utility bills amongst other services to their variety of customers.

Agents receive a commission from every customer that uses the POS machine. Although, a percentage also goes to your POS provider, the commission varies since competition in the industry is still very much growing.

Banks, Fintechs and other licensed operators provide POS machines to interested person.

The business is most search and attractive business, especially as it requires little capital to start, ranging from POS provider to provider.

According to the survey the best small business entrepreneurs want to start in other Africa counties include;

Ghana – Real Estate
Kenya – M-Pesa
Tanzania – Clothing
Uganda – Wholesale
Ethiopia – Real Estate
Zimbabwe – Recycling
South Africa – Cooking Gas Refill
Rwanda – Real Estate
Egypt – Import/Export
Morocco – Freight
Senegal – Cleaning
Algeria – Contracting
Libya – Software
Tunisia – Import/Export
Cape Verde – Jewelry
Cote D’Ivoire – Cleaning
Mozambique – Clothing
Zambia – Second-hand Clothing
DR Congo – Construction

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