Farewell To Job Search: Here Are 18 Lucrative Businesses You Can Start With NO Capital!


Considering the true state of the nation at the moment, laying hopes on the government for survival and livelihood is certainly not advisable. Its high time both fresh graduates and undergraduates sought for businesses they will lay hands on to make ends meet.

The rate of unemployment has been on the increase. Despite the number of jobs we hear that are being created every now and then, the number of job seekers still outnumber the available jobs. Moreover, corruption has made the possibility of being gainfully employed by merit very low. Graduates continue to move from pillar to post in search of means of survival. In the bid to survive, some of them have ended up engaging in heinous crimes which never paid them well in the long run. Some others have plunged into bouts of depression and hopelessness which eventually led them into anti-social habits that ruined their lives.

However, most of these unemployed graduates at the point of graduation had little or even huge sums of money that would have seen them through establishing small-scale but lucrative and lasting businesses. Unfortunately, they were robbed of their opportunities by things like ignorance, lack of business ideas, laziness, etc. Some of them were deceived into believing that one could only establish meaningful businesses when he’s got all the money. Here is an opportunity for you to know the little and simple things it takes for you to say goodbye to job search and unemployment. You can start-up your own business today even when you’ve got no money! Checkout these 18 lucrative businesses you can start with little or no capital:

1. Small Scale Importation

Small scale importation has become one of the most lucrative and easy-to-start businesses available to young graduates who may not have plenty of cash to plunge into other more capital-intensive businesses. In fact, the importation of goods has never been easier than now; due to the emergence of the internet. Importers can now meet manufacturers online, while exporters can also push their products out using the internet as leverage to find buyers. It does not require much training, it is not complicated; you only need to make all necessary inquiry on the basics of how to import the particular goods you are interested in. You can start this business with little capital and increase your investment as time goes on.

African American woman using laptop

2. Freelance Online Jobs

The internet is now such a rich platform for doing all sorts of businesses. There are many services that are needed out there which I bet as a graduate, you must fit into one of them; they require only little skills to get them done. A Freelancer is someone working for different companies: a self-employed person working or available to work, for a number of employers, and usually hired for a limited period. Depending on what you can do, you can take up freelance writing or editing jobs, social media consultancy, etc. It’s very interesting and non-capital intensive. You can also do most of the freelance jobs in the comfort of your home.

It is also very possible for you to take up contracts that is not within the confines of your profession online, get a professional to do it; you supervise and pay for their services while still having something for yourself.

3. Office to Office Hawking

There’s this stigma that is wrongfully attached to “hawking”. Whenever young people hear the word, they are disillusioned. But the truth is that hawking simply means mobile selling – moving from place to place with goods for easy delivery to customers, and it must not be done in the ignoble ways which are what usually make it look generally unpleasant.

Employees working one or more regular jobs scarcely have the time to buy what they want from regular markets. So you take the goods to them and charge them for the goods and mobile service. You just need to make a survey and find out what you have interest in. It should also be something that has prospective buyers in the area you want to carry out the business. Then start with a few of those items, and before you know it, you will never need any form of employment any more. For instance, you may decide to buy and sell quality already made clothes, shoes, wrist watches or jewelries in banks and other offices.


4. Recruitment Agency

A recruitment agency is an organization which matches companies who have job openings with available, qualified employees. This is the one of the cheapest businesses in the world, and also one of the oldest. The most common structure of employment agencies is a small office with a handful of internal employees who recruit candidates and sell employment services to local businesses. Even the largest international staffing companies operate in this manner, so your small business will be able to compete with established firms if you have the right business plan and tools. Just find the right field that suits your interest and be a middle man between clients and workers. All you may need in this modern world is a reachable contact address which can be online.

5. Bead Making

This is most lucrative in Africa where beads are treasured by almost everyone – both male and female, young and old. These days, some people even prefer beads to other kinds of jewelries because of the new, beautiful and rich designs that are available in the markets today. Beads are also used to create beautiful bags and purses which are sold at very costly prices. The interesting thing here is that the skills are easy to learn and you could easily find an informal and low-cost setting to acquire the skills. With very little capital, you can make your own beads, start by selling to friends and family. If you are good at it, and are able to make good designs, you can start supplying to beauty shops and increase your scale and profit over time. Bead making should never be underestimated because some people who started on a small note have ended up being employers of labour.


6. Drinks Production (Zobo, Soy Milk, Yogurt, Fruit Juice, etc)

Starting the production of these local but highly nutritive drinks on a small-scale is very easy. The raw materials are readily available in the local markets and at affordable prices too. You can prepare and refrigerate the drinks right there in your house using the household tools available to you. The good thing about this business is that even your neighbors can be your customers and they are as well highly lucrative, especially during the dry, hot season. It does not cost much to produce and believe it or not, many people have actually become rich from this business. You just have to be really good at it and apply good packaging and you’re sure to sell. As your customers and profit increase, you can expand and enhance your business the way you so desire it.

7. Poultry/Fish farming

The importance of poultry to the national economy cannot be overemphasize, as it has become popular industry for the small holders that have great contribution to the economy of the country. The profession has assumed greater importance in improving the employment opportunity and animal food production.

So also is fishery, as a lot of young graduates are making thousands and even millions in the business. It is generally believed that setting up a fish farm requires much capital but that depends on the scale of fish farm an individual wants to establish. You do not need to build a full-fledged fish farm. Just make do with the resources available to you; start on a very small scale and expand over time. Don’t allow the thought of getting your hands dirty stop you; money actually come with dirty hands!

layers cage

8. Soap, Detergent and Bleach Production

Soap(both liquid and bar), detergents, and bleach are essential commodities in every home and as such, people will pay you good money if your products are very good. Just get the necessary training required and you are on your way. Some of these skills are taught freely or at very subsidized costs during school day and also during National Youth Service. Do not say you didn’t learn it well. Add to the amateur skills you have through making researches on-line.

9. Catering Businesses

Catering is an aspect of event planning but it still involves a lot of businesses. It generally has to do with cooking and providing food in particular places. When I say cooking, I believe you know that bakery is also included. It all depends on what you decide to do or what is required by your clients. As a young unemployed graduate who hasn’t got all the money, you may not be able to plunge into the catering business in all its ramifications. You have to start with a particular aspect you have the most interest and skills.

You can start a small-scale catering business right there in your house with your home cooking gadgets and very little or no money. Yes, you don’t even need an office; you can even start this business using your client’s advance payment and rent all the equipment you need. Interestingly, there are no entry barriers such as registration or other forms of documentation. So what are you waiting for, once you’ve got the interest, you’ve made it already. Who knows, if you work hard, you may even end up owning a catering school!


10. Photography and Video Coverage

Maybe you have ideas and skills in photography or video coverage. Do not let it go no matter how little or amateur you think your skills are. With the little you are having, you can purchase a moderate camera and start covering weddings, birthdays, funerals and other events in your area. As you progress, you can acquire more skills and also purchase more equipment that will take your business to a higher level.

Photography/video coverage is really a cool business for young graduates because you fix your price according to the class of event you are covering. You may hit real money by covering a high-class event held by very rich people who you could charge double the normal price. All you need is to make sure you give them what they want. A lot of graduates have given this a try and it really paid off.

11. Interior Decoration 

If you are a creative person and also have some skills in decoration, you can go ahead and start a business in that line. Start by joining decoration teams in handling occasions as a volunteer, you develop your skills by so doing. After a while, try taking up a contract of your own. You can hire materials and equipment, and buy yours little by little subsequently. Attract and hold your customers by charging little at the onset. Find a way to showcase your work and find customers. You can do this through the common social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Whats app, etc. Also try to approach people and offer to be called upon whenever they have need of such services.


12. Home Service Hair Cut

If you know how to give good haircuts then nothing stops you from starting this home based business. People hate to queue up at saloons and with an added touch of professionalism; they will prefer to come to their homes to cut their hair. Build a good working relationship and you are on your way up. They will even pay you more than they pay at saloon because it is a special treatment. Now imagine you get just 30 people you cut their hair and we all know people cut their hair weekly or at least once in two weeks. You will really make some cash and if you care, you could then establish a classy stationery barbing salon.

13. Make-Up Artistry

Make-up is becoming indispensable in our society today, and as the day go by, people desire more refined touches which are usually provided by professionals. This has made it to become one of the fastest growing industries in Africa today and a real five-star lucrative business.

Learning the skills is not difficult and also takes a short duration. Get trained and the opportunities are limitless. At a stage, if you are very good at it, you may never have a weekend to yourself again and each job can pay as much as 20,000 naira or even 200,000 naira depending on your reputation and clients.


14. Extra-Mural Classes/Private Lessons

You can think of establish an extra-mural lesson centre to prepare students for external examinations. This may need some money to start, especially that of rent for the venue, but not too much. You can employ the services of part-time teachers who you will be paying on hourly basis.

On the other hand, you could also engage in private lessons for students in their individual homes while looking for a job. In well-developed cities, this can be a very well-paying business such that you may no longer have the need or even time for a regular employment. Well-to-do parents who value education always provide their children with private tutors in core subjects. As a young graduate, you can search such pupils or students out and make arrangements to handle them in areas you are good in. Moreover, private lessons must not necessarily be on school subjects. If you have a skill that can be taught, you could find out who are interested and take then through training sessions for e fee.

15. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. This is one of the easiest way to make money online. There are tons of companies and webmasters using affiliate programs to boost their online sales, and most are free to join. When you sign up for an affiliate program, an affiliate link with a unique affiliate ID will be assigned to you. The affiliate link is used for marketing the products of your merchant. When a visitor buys an item through your affiliate link, you earn affiliate commission. Starting an affiliate marketing business is a great way to make extra cash!

Find out which products are most popular and what is its conversion rate. Visit the seller’s website to see whether their sales letters are enough to generate sales. A conversion rate of 5% is reasonably good. This means that for every 100 people landing on your merchant’s website, 5 visitors will place an order. A little capital will put you through starting up this lucrative business.

online jobs in Africa

16. Printing and Sales of Recharge Card 

If you are looking to start your own small business and are completely at sea as to which option to go for, then you should consider starting a recharge card printing and selling business. Recharge card printing and selling is a recession-proof business. This means that it is an everyday necessity and are always in huge demand; regardless of the state of the economy. The average phone user buys recharge cards every week and communication over the phone is now an everyday need, explains why printing and selling recharge cards is one of the very profitable businesses that is recommended for someone with very little capital. The required startup capital is minimal, you don’t need any formal qualifications to get started. You only need to attend a few training classes on how to print the cards, make some necessary contacts and connections of how to buy and sell and you can start making profits in a matter of days to weeks.

17. Pop Corn Vending

Now, this is one of the lucrative businesses a lot of people are already harnessing. The major equipment you need is a pop-corn machine which you can even move to event locations. When well packaged, it has a very high market potential as the sales of pop corn especially in a traffic is very lucrative. Some people sell as much as 5,000 packets of pop corn daily.


18. Buying and Selling

Buying and selling is generally a good business for young graduates. Some big businessmen started that way. Find out where and when you can get some items at cheaper rates, take them to where you can sell them at higher rates and make reasonable profit. Though this type of business may really be tasking and requires energy and travelling, it pays well and there are usually prospects of establishing something worthwhile from it. However, make sure you restrict yourself to goods and services you can handle.