How to Start an Online business in Nigeria

Do you want to start an online business without money or you have this business idea but you really do not have the capital to invest in your business? I have good news for you…

With the continuous advancement in internet access around the world, today, there are practical online business ideas you can start with little or completely zero upfront capital investment.

Wait! It doesn’t just end here… The internet has also made it in such a way that you can start and run your online business effortlessly, from any part of the world.

Now, if you’re not really getting it, what this means is that you really don’t have to move to some part of the world before starting your online business.

Also, unlike what we used to have before now, you don’t have to borrow money from the bank before you can start an online business anymore.

This is because with the right idea, you can start an online business with no money. Or in some cases, very little capital, like data subscription charges etc. And you can start right where you are. I mean anywhere around the world.

Now, this might sound farfetched and unrealistic but as someone that has had a first hand experience, I can assure you, this is not just someone telling me, this is something I’ve experienced myself.

Besides the fact that I’ve tried starting a few offline business without success as far back as 2012, I had my very first business breakthrough with an online business.

Now, before you think everything was all set out for me, I was just a fresh student when I started. So there was basically no money or great support… But the internet got me a platform to push out my ideas.

Now besides myself, I’ve seen many other successful people running businesses online… As you read this, so many people are setting up successful online businesses around the world.

In fact, according to expert’s research, the e-commerce business alone is projected to be worth 4.8 trillion dollars globally in 2021.

Now this should show you how much acceptance people are giving to online businesses.

And a good number of people that own these online businesses are people you can actually relate to their story. So, not only is it possible for you to dream and start an outstanding business online, your own online business can become the next big story.

Alright! Enough of the stories. Below, I’ll be sharing with you, 7 of the top online business ideas you can start in Nigeria or anywhere around the world right now.

Social Media Consulting

Social media consulting and management is one of the top online businesses you can start with no money.

As a social media consultant your job involves engaging, communicating with, advertising for and maintaining a relationship with social media users on behalf of a brand.

In a nutshell, as a social media consultant you’re like the eye, ears and voice of the company online.

As a social media consultant, you’ll have to post unbehalf of the brand you’re working for, communicate with their social media clients, advertise for them where necessary and maintain their social media presence.

Based on these, the important skills you need are: Strategy and planning which will help you in setting up strategies that will help the brand

Content creation and writing skills, a bit of graphics (though not necessarily important ) and a good eye for great pictures.

As a social media consultant, a knowledge of digital advertising can also set you apart although it’s not required in all cases.

E-commerce/ Dropshipping

Here goes the almighty e-commerce. As you can see, e-commerce is still one of the most successful online businesses one can start, according to research.

In Nigeria alone according to NBS, as at a year ago, e-commerce was worth about 13 billion dollars. And further estimates was that it could get to 26 billion USD by the end of 2018, all things being equal.

Now that’s a good indication that e-commerce is a profitable business anyone can start.

Before we proceed, i want to quickly remind you that just as there are many successful e-commerce businesses online, there are also several failed ones.

But, the good news is that you don’t have to wait to have huge funds before starting a good e-commerce business. And yes, there are many e-commerce business ideas you can start online. Without using your money.

For instance, you can open an e-commerce website, get stuff from other people selling offline, based on trust, sell it for them online and get your percentage.

With these, you don’t need to have the things in stock or buy it yourself. All you do is get people online to access the stuff, and you get paid your percentage when the thing is bought. This can work almost like affiliate or referral marketing.

Another e-commerce idea is getting your own stuff to sell online. It could be on a social media platform or on a full fledged website.

All you need is stuff you make. And if you’re an artisan, a graphics designer  maker of cakes, clothes etc, here is a good place to start.

Graphics Designing

Starting a Graphics designing business online is one great way to make money online without capital investment.

No matter where you are, Graphics designing skills is one of the most selling skills in this digital age.

And this is so because people will always need graphics designed for their Instagram, Facebook, Websites, Blogs, Adverts  Logos and even major offline events etc.

If you don’t know how to make graphics, you can get to learn online. And you don’t need a very long time to learn the skill.

You can get something reasonable to start out within 6-10 months… And from here you keep learning even as you start making money with the skills.

Online training and tutorials

Do you have a peculiar skill you can train people with? Then you can organize online tutorials and training for people.

Now, to be a digital trainer, your skills doesn’t have to be something extraordinary. All you need is to have a worthwhile skill that is in demand and is able to add real value to others.

If you have any of these skills you can go about training people online and getting paid for it.

From training people on how to write, Build Websites, Design Graphics, Make artifacts etc. There are so many things you can learn and teach other people online as a business.

To get started, you can start with setting up a good online profile, branding yourself, getting the word out about the business etc, after that, you can launch out.

The good thing about online training and tutorials is that you can even start it from your social media platforms. With this, you don’t need to spend any cash up front. With time, you can get to expand it to the point of building a website for the business.

Real Estate

Naturally, real estate is mostly done offline. And you don’t really need money to start as a real estate agent.

However, in order to give yourself some edge you can get your own real estate business online in 2020.

Doing this would mean using the social media or getting yourself a real estate website to display your plots or buildings.

Going online while also running the business offline gives you the chance to get more attention for your real estate business.


Are you good at photography? Then you can start a photography business online.

Provided, you have a basic knowledge of photography, understand the business and have your camera ready, you can always learn the rest and grow alongside the business. Photography business is something I personally have a soft spot for.

Not only is it a great idea to start a business online as a photographer, online photography itself presents you an opportunity to tell beautiful and remarkable stories through your craft.

Taking a clue from professionals like TY Bello who are using their social media platforms to tell compelling stories about their brands, you can also get something coming for you right from your social media platforms.

Thing is, picture speaks volumes. Pictures can be both compelling and captivating when taken professionally. And if you’re good at what you do, you won’t find it difficult in getting jobs and clients with the right networks.

Because like I mentioned up there under graphics,  social media apps like Instagram, Facebook etc creates a huge demand for photographs and photographers.

And also events like birthdays, marriages etc. These events are not something that will cease to come up. At least not in the nearest future.

Video Content Creation and Editing

This is one other interesting businesses you can start online without capital. It’s very innovative in the sense that it follows the trends.

Right now people are making videos for their social media platforms, websites, blog posts etc. Most of these people are super busy to even sit down and create this video.

Here’s where you come in as an online video editor. You help them put up their ideas together as a video of whatever length they need. And they pay you for it.

Again this business ideas doesn’t need you to move to anywhere. You can start right from where you are. And yes, your success is going to be your responsibility.

Alright so this is where we’ll stop right now. As you can see, there are many ways you can start an online business without money. And i really hope you go out there and start the next successful online business.

Want to read more about how to start a successful online business? Read here.

So, what are your biggest challenges in starting an online business? Let’s hear you!


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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    Award winning Blogger, Author, Web Developer, Senior Digital Strategist and Founder of Africa's most widely read blog on Content Marketing and Digital Strategy, VictorWinners.Com.Named as one of the top 50 design influencers globally, since 2014; Victor Winners has helped over 2 million readers to understand and use digital technology to transform their lives and businesses.

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