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SME Guide

Top 20 Profitable Side Hustles to Start in Nigeria Today

In today’s fast-paced world, the pursuit of financial stability and independence has become a priority for many Nigerians. With the cost of living constantly on the rise and traditional employment opportunities becoming increasingly scarce, side hustles have emerged as a viable solution for individuals seeking to supplement their income or even transition into full-time entrepreneurship. Nigeria’s vibrant economy and diverse population present fertile ground for enterprising individuals to explore a wide range of side hustle opportunities. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the top 20 profitable side hustles that you can start in Nigeria today, offering practical insights and strategies to help you kickstart your journey towards financial freedom.

What is a side hustle?

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s define what a side hustle is. A side hustle, also known as a side gig or a side business, refers to a secondary income stream pursued alongside one’s primary job or occupation. It’s a way to monetize your skills, talents, or interests while maintaining the stability of a regular paycheck. Side hustles allow individuals to generate additional income, explore entrepreneurial ventures, and potentially transform them into full-fledged businesses over time.

Benefits of Starting a Side Hustle in Nigeria

Starting a side hustle in Nigeria offers numerous advantages, including:

  1. Supplemental Income: With the rising cost of living and inflation, a side hustle can provide a much-needed boost to your financial situation, allowing you to meet expenses, save for emergencies, or invest in your future.
  2. Financial Independence: By diversifying your income streams, you become less reliant on a single source of income, reducing the risk of financial instability in the event of job losses or economic downturns.
  3. Entrepreneurial Experience: A side hustle serves as a stepping stone to entrepreneurship, allowing you to test your business ideas, develop essential skills, and gain valuable experience before transitioning into a full-time venture.
  4. Passion and Fulfilment: Many side hustles stem from personal interests or hobbies, providing a creative outlet and a sense of satisfaction beyond the confines of a traditional job.
  5. Networking Opportunities: Running a side hustle exposes you to new networks, potential clients or customers, and like-minded individuals, expanding your professional and social circles.

The Top 20 Profitable Side Hustles to Start in Nigeria Today

Without further ado, let’s explore the top 20 profitable side hustles that you can start in Nigeria today:

  1. Online tutoring and teaching

With the growing demand for quality education and the proliferation of online learning platforms, online tutoring and teaching have become lucrative side hustles in Nigeria. Leveraging your expertise in various subjects, you can offer virtual tutoring services to students across the country or even globally.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Identify your area of expertise (e.g., mathematics, sciences, languages, test preparation).
  • Create a profile on online tutoring platforms like Tutor.com, Chegg Tutors, or Varsity Tutors.
  • Develop engaging lesson plans and teaching materials.
  • Market your services through social media, word-of-mouth, or local advertising.

Potential Earnings: Depending on your experience and subject area, online tutors in Nigeria can earn between ₦5,000 and ₦15,000 per hour.

     2. Freelance Writing and Content Creation

With the ever-increasing demand for high-quality content across various industries, freelance writing and content creation present a lucrative side hustle opportunity. Whether it’s blog posts, articles, website copy, or social media content, your writing skills can be monetized.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Build a portfolio showcasing your writing samples and expertise.
  • Create profiles on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer.com.
  • Network with businesses, bloggers, and content agencies in need of writers.
  • Continuously improve your writing skills and stay updated with SEO and content marketing trends.

Potential Earnings: Freelance writers in Nigeria can earn between ₦500 and ₦5,000 per article or project, depending on their experience and the complexity of the work.

     3. Virtual Assistant Services

As businesses and entrepreneurs seek to streamline their operations and focus on core activities, virtual assistant services have become increasingly sought-after. As a virtual assistant, you can provide administrative, organisational, and operational support remotely.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Identify your areas of expertise (e.g., data entry, scheduling, email management, and social media management).
  • Create profiles on virtual assistant platforms like Belay Solutions, Upwork, or Freelancer.com.
  • Develop a professional online presence and portfolio showcasing your skills.
  • Network with small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals in need of virtual assistance.

Potential Earnings: Virtual assistants in Nigeria can earn between ₦50,000 and ₦150,000 per month, depending on their experience and the scope of services offered.

     4. Graphic Design and Illustration

With the rise of digital marketing and the increasing importance of visual content, graphic design and illustration services are in high demand. If you possess creative skills and a keen eye for design, this side hustle could be a perfect fit.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Build a portfolio showcasing your design work and creative style.
  • Create profiles on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Dribbble.
  • Network with businesses, agencies, and individuals in need of design services.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest design trends and software tools.

Potential Earnings: Graphic designers and illustrators in Nigeria can earn between ₦10,000 and ₦50,000 per project, depending on their experience and the complexity of the work.

     5. Social media management and marketing

In today’s digital age, businesses of all sizes recognise the importance of having a strong social media presence. As a social media manager or marketer, you can help businesses craft effective social media strategies, create engaging content, and manage their online communities.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Develop a deep understanding of various social media platforms and their best practices.
  • Build a portfolio showcasing successful social media campaigns or client testimonials.
  • Network with small businesses, entrepreneurs, and marketing agencies.
  • Stay updated with the latest trends and algorithms in social media marketing.

Potential Earnings: Social media managers and marketers in Nigeria can earn between ₦50,000 and ₦150,000 per month, depending on their experience and the scope of services offered.

      6. E-commerce and online selling

The e-commerce industry in Nigeria is booming, and online selling presents a lucrative side hustle opportunity. Whether you’re selling handmade products, locally sourced goods, or reselling popular items, this side hustle allows you to tap into a vast online market.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Identify a niche or product category with high demand.
  • Set up an online store on platforms like Jumia, Konga, or your own e-commerce website.
  • Source high-quality products or create your own unique offerings.
  • Implement effective marketing and advertising strategies to drive sales.

Potential Earnings: The earning potential for e-commerce and online selling in Nigeria varies greatly depending on the products, pricing, and sales volume. Successful online sellers can earn anywhere from ₦50,000 to several hundred thousand naira per month.

     7. Video editing and production

With the rise of video content across social media platforms, corporate marketing, and online education, video editing and production services are in high demand. If you have a knack for storytelling and technical skills in video editing software, this side hustle could be a perfect fit.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Invest in quality video editing software and equipment.
  • Build a portfolio showcasing your video editing and production skills.
  • Create profiles on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer.com.
  • Network with businesses, YouTubers, influencers, and individuals in need of video services.

Potential Earnings: Video editors and producers in Nigeria can earn between ₦20,000 and ₦100,000 per project, depending on their experience and the complexity of the work.

        8. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based side hustle where you earn commissions by promoting products or services from other companies. By leveraging your online presence or a niche website, you can generate passive income by directing traffic and sales to partner businesses.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Identify relevant products or services to promote based on your interests or niche.
  • Join affiliate programmes from companies like Amazon, Jumia, Konga, or niche-specific merchants.
  • Create valuable content (reviews, guides, and tutorials) that promotes the affiliate products naturally.
  • Drive targeted traffic to your affiliate links through blogging, social media, email marketing, or paid advertising.
  • Continuously track and optimise your marketing efforts for better conversions.

Potential Earnings: Affiliate marketing income can vary greatly depending on the products, traffic volume, and conversion rates. Successful affiliate marketers in Nigeria can earn anywhere from ₦50,000 to ₦500,000 or more per month.

        9. Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is a popular side hustle where you can run an online store without holding inventory. You take orders from customers and pass them to the supplier, who then ships the products directly to the buyers.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Research and identify a profitable niche or product category.
  • Find reliable suppliers and establish drop-shipping agreements.
  • Set up an online store on platforms like Jumia, Konga, or your own e-commerce website.
  • Implement effective marketing strategies to drive traffic and sales.
  • Provide excellent customer service and manage order fulfilment efficiently.

Potential Earnings: Successful dropshippers in Nigeria can earn between ₦50,000 and ₦300,000 or more per month, depending on the products, pricing, and sales volume.

     10. Freelance Photography and Videography

With the growing demand for visual content across various industries, freelance photography and videography services present a lucrative side hustle opportunity. Whether it’s capturing special events, product photography, or corporate videos, your creative skills can be monetized.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Invest in quality photography and videography equipment and editing software.
  • Build a portfolio showcasing your best work and artistic style.
  • Create profiles on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer.com.
  • Network with event planners, businesses, influencers, and individuals in need of photography or videography services.
  • Stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in your field.

Potential Earnings: Freelance photographers and videographers in Nigeria can earn between ₦20,000 and ₦100,000 or more per project, depending on their experience and the scope of work.

     11. Personal training and fitness coaching

As the health and wellness industry continues to grow, personal training and fitness coaching have become popular side hustles. If you have expertise in fitness, nutrition, or physical training, you can offer personalised services to help others achieve their health and fitness goals.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Obtain relevant certifications (e.g., personal training, nutrition coaching) to establish credibility.
  • Develop customised workout plans and nutrition programmes tailored to your clients’ needs.
  • Market your services through social media, local gyms, or community centres.
  • Offer in-person or online training sessions, depending on your preferences.

Potential Earnings: Personal trainers and fitness coaches in Nigeria can earn between ₦10,000 and ₦50,000 per client per month, depending on their expertise, location, and the services offered.

     12. Handmade crafts and artistic products

If you have a creative flair and enjoy making handmade crafts or artisanal products, this side hustle could be a perfect fit. From jewellery and accessories to home decor and artisanal foods, there is a growing demand for unique, locally-made products.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Identify your niche and develop a unique product line.
  • Source high-quality materials and supplies.
  • Set up an online store or list your products on platforms like Etsy, Jumia, or Konga.
  • Participate in local craft fairs, markets, or exhibitions to showcase and sell your products.
  • Leverage social media to promote your brand and connect with potential customers.

Potential Earnings: The earning potential for handmade crafts and artisanal products varies greatly depending on the products, pricing, and sales volume. Successful artisans and crafters in Nigeria can earn between ₦20,000 and ₦100,000 or more per month.

     13. Freelance Web Development and Programming

With the increasing demand for online presence and digital solutions, freelance web development and programming services are highly sought after. If you have coding skills and expertise in various programming languages, this side hustle can be a lucrative option.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Identify your areas of expertise (e.g., web development, mobile app development, software programming).
  • Build a portfolio showcasing your previous work and projects.
  • Create profiles on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer.com, or Toptal.
  • Network with businesses, startups, and individuals in need of development services.
  • Continuously upgrade your skills and stay updated with the latest technologies and trends.

Potential Earnings: Freelance web developers and programmers in Nigeria can earn between ₦50,000 and ₦250,000 or more per project, depending on their experience, skillset, and the complexity of the work.

     14. Online consulting and coaching

If you possess expertise in a particular field or industry, online consulting and coaching can be a rewarding side hustle. You can share your knowledge and provide valuable guidance to individuals or businesses seeking professional advice.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Identify your area of expertise (e.g., business strategy, career coaching, life coaching, industry-specific consulting).
  • Build a strong online presence through a professional website, social media, and relevant platforms.
  • Develop consulting packages or coaching programmes tailored to your target audience.
  • Network with potential clients and market your services through various channels.
  • Continuously improve your knowledge and stay updated with industry trends.

Potential Earnings: Online consultants and coaches in Nigeria can earn between ₦50,000 and ₦200,000 or more per client, depending on their expertise, the scope of services, and the duration of the engagement.

     15. Ridesharing services (Uber, Bolt, etc.)

With the rise of ridesharing platforms like Uber and Bolt in Nigeria, driving and providing transportation services have become popular side hustles. This option allows you to leverage your vehicle and earn extra income during your spare time.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Ensure you meet the requirements for driving with ridesharing platforms (valid driver’s license, vehicle inspection, etc.).
  • Sign up and complete the necessary documentation and background checks.
  • Familiarise yourself with the platform’s app, navigation tools, and best practices for providing excellent service.
  • Determine your availability and schedule to maximise your earning potential.

Potential Earnings: The earning potential for ridesharing services varies greatly depending on factors such as location, hours worked, and demand. Successful rideshare drivers in Nigeria can earn between ₦50,000 and ₦150,000 or more per month, depending on their dedication and efficiency.

     16. Food Delivery Services

With the growing popularity of online food ordering and delivery services, becoming a food delivery rider or driver has emerged as a flexible side hustle opportunity. This option allows you to earn extra income while working on your own schedule.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Research and sign up with food delivery platforms operating in your area (e.g., Jumia Food, Bolt Food, Glovo).
  • Ensure you meet the requirements (valid driver’s license, vehicle inspection, etc.).
  • Familiarise yourself with the platform’s app, navigation tools, and best practices for efficient deliveries.
  • Determine your availability and schedule to maximise your earning potential during peak hours.

Potential Earnings: The earning potential for food delivery services varies based on factors such as location, hours worked, and demand. Successful food delivery riders or drivers in Nigeria can earn between ₦30,000 and ₦100,000 or more per month, depending on their dedication and efficiency.

     17. Pet Care Services

If you have a love for animals and enjoy spending time with furry companions, pet care services can be a rewarding side hustle. Services like dog walking, pet sitting, grooming, or pet boarding are in high demand, especially in urban areas.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Obtain any necessary licenses or certifications for pet care services in your area.
  • Create profiles on pet care platforms like Rover, Wag, or local community forums.
  • Market your services through social media, flyers, and word-of-mouth.
  • Ensure you have the necessary skills and patience to handle different types of pets.
  • Provide excellent customer service and build a strong reputation in your community.

Potential Earnings: Pet care providers in Nigeria can earn between ₦10,000 and ₦50,000 per month, depending on the services offered, the number of clients, and the location.

     18. Event planning and coordination

If you have a flair for organisation and attention to detail, event planning and coordination can be a profitable side hustle. From weddings and parties to corporate events and conferences, your services can be in high demand.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Develop expertise in event planning, budgeting, vendor management, and logistics.
  • Build a portfolio showcasing your event planning experience and successful events.
  • Network with potential clients, such as couples, businesses, or event venues.
  • Stay updated with the latest trends, themes, and best practices in event planning.
  • Offer comprehensive event packages or à la carte services based on client needs.

Potential Earnings: Event planners and coordinators in Nigeria can earn between ₦50,000 and ₦300,000 or more per event, depending on the scale, complexity, and scope of services provided.

     19. Home-Based Catering and Baking

If you have a passion for cooking and baking, turning your culinary skills into a side hustle can be a delicious and profitable venture. Home-based catering and baking services are in high demand for events, celebrations, and personal indulgences.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Obtain the necessary licenses and permits for operating a home-based food business.
  • Develop a menu or product line showcasing your specialty dishes or baked goods.
  • Invest in quality kitchen equipment and supplies to ensure efficiency and consistency.
  • Market your services through social media, local advertising, and word-of-mouth.
  • Offer delivery or pickup options to cater to your customers’ preferences.

Potential Earnings: Home-based caterers and bakers in Nigeria can earn between ₦20,000 and ₦100,000 or more per event or bulk order, depending on the complexity of the menu, portion sizes, and pricing.

     20. Rental Services (Clothing, Equipment, Tools, etc.)

If you have underutilised assets or equipment, you can turn them into a side hustle by offering rental services. From clothing and accessories to tools, party equipment, or camping gear, there is a demand for affordable rental options.

Steps to Get Started:

  • Identify the items or equipment you can offer for rental (e.g., formal wear, power tools, tents, tables, and chairs).
  • Ensure proper maintenance and storage of your rental inventory.
  • Create an online presence or list your rental services on relevant platforms.
  • Develop a pricing structure and rental policies that are competitive and fair.
  • Provide excellent customer service and ensure the proper handling and return of rented items.

Potential Earnings: The earning potential for rental services varies greatly depending on the items rented, pricing, and demand. Successful rental service providers in Nigeria can earn between ₦20,000 and ₦100,000 or more per month, depending on the scale and popularity of their offerings.

Starting a side hustle in Nigeria can be a rewarding and lucrative endeavour, allowing you to explore your passions, diversify your income streams, and potentially transition into full-time entrepreneurship. By following these steps and dedicating time and effort to your chosen side hustle, you can unlock new opportunities for financial growth and personal fulfilment.

Remember, success in any side hustle requires persistence, adaptability, and a commitment to providing value to your customers or clients. Stay focused, continuously improve your skills, and seize the numerous opportunities that Nigeria’s vibrant economy has to offer.

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