10 Business Ideas You Can Start With Little Capital in Africa in 2021

10 Business Ideas You Can Start With Little Capital in Africa in 2021

June 8, 2021 0

Are you looking for business ideas that you can start with little capital in Africa? Young African entrepreneurs have many opportunities to explore successfully.

Suppose they have a good idea of what they want and some capital to achieve their goals. But, unfortunately, building a good business takes a lot of work, and successfully running it is an even more challenging job. In fact, the numbers have repeatedly shown that about 80% of new businesses close down in the first year, with more closing shop within their following years of operation.

One of the reasons for this high rate of failure may be that many entrepreneurs chose the wrong business idea. More often than not though, the reason is tied closely to lack of sufficient capital to begin and run the business.

If you are planning to start your own business, then having that passion for entrepreneurship is not enough. You generally need to have more than a little capital, and as your business takes shape, you’d need to secure even more funding to keep it afloat.

Fortunately, there are many businesses you can launch today with little capital or funding, as long as you remain dedicated and put in some good old-fashioned hard work. On this note, we have come up with ten great small business ideas that you may like to consider in order to start your entrepreneurial journey. Let’s get started:

Content Creation

Thanks to the growing popularity of social media, you might have a great opportunity to start a content creation business from the comfort of your home. Creative professionals like writers and graphic designers can use their talents to create high-quality, shareable content for businesses and media outlets. 

10 Business Ideas You Can Start With Little Capital in Africa in 2021
Content creation business

Do you know anything that people don’t know, or know something that other people know but can present it differently or know someone who knows something that others may not know?

Thanks to a growing gig economy of freelance and contract workers, it’s easier than ever to market yourself as a professional service provider. Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative here, as long as it’s a career you are genuinely interested in, you can polish off your skills from credible platforms such as Coursera, Edx and Udemy.


If this appeals to you, blogging is one other great way to make money online in Africa, with little capital, if at all. Your most important and perhaps expensive investment in a blogging career aside from your smartphone or laptop and internet access is your time. Blogging has gained more traction in recent years, particularly as more people figure out how easily your content can be monetized.

You can set up a free blog with WordPress or Wix to get started. You’d also need to populate your blog with quality content seeing as this is the best way to generate traffic to your blog.

To optimise this even better, learn how to optimise your posts for search engines like Google or hire the services of an SEO expert. This way, you can monetize your blog quicker with Google AdSense, display advert, affiliate marketing, or sell information products such as ebooks to your audience.

Online Store

You no longer need to lease an expensive store, buy furnishings or hire employees from the word go to open a store if that is your dream. Instead, you can just open up a storefront online and operate it from your personal computer while sitting at home on your couch. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs have already successfully opened up their stores, and your case should be no different.

You can sell your products from your independent website. Or you could set it up on a third party website such as Amazon or Shopify. It seems absurdly easy to start selling your products at these online marketplaces – and it is easy. You can commence with little capital, and as long as you deliver your products timeously, you’ll be well on your way to building your virtual store into a solid, long term business.

Start Your Own Subscription Service Business

ECommerce has seen a boom in the product subscription service industry, and you can set up your own subscription-based business with little capital. Thanks to this industry, you can easily model your SME into a brand popular for delivering boxes of themed surprises on a weekly or monthly basis on order.

You can narrow your mission statement to cater for purchases of frequently used items, like toilet paper, coffee beans, toothpaste or razors. Also, you can choose to concern yourself only with the periodic boxes of themed items, like hampers and gifts. You could also provide your customers with exclusive access to certain services on subscription, such as discounts or other premium member perks. All you have to do is start.

Social Media Marketing Business

Most customers today expect the brands they patronize to have a strong social media presence and to be responsive in social customer service. The result is that many companies now understand the need to engage in social media marketing. These businesses want to have a social media presence but generally aren’t sure how best to go about this. For a small fee, you can manage the social media feeds of SMEs in your region to generate leads for them.

Turning your social media expertise into your own solopreneur business venture will cost you little capital (if at all). However, it will help you make some money while offering support to business owners who need help managing their brand’s social media platforms.

Selling Handcrafted Goods or Antiques

If you make DIY soap, candles, kitchenware or knitted products, you’re in a unique position to turn this hobby into a lucrative business with very little capital. Starting a handcrafted goods business is all about skill and choosing the range of products you can produce. Product development and procurement would literally be in your hands here, and so if you already know how to make a particular product, you can get started straight away. 

Your skills here could include jewellery making, bookmaking or leatherworking to create a range of different handmade products. Selling handcrafted products today is incredibly easy, and you can use platforms like Etsy to reach consumers for a very little charge. You will need to consider shipping and inventory management, but you can start out simple on a per-order basis until you start generating consistent sales.

Courier Service Business

If you have a reliable vehicle and good time management skills, you may want to consider creating your own courier service. It’s a simple business to start and operate, so you don’t need a lot of money to start up. All you have to do is pick up and deliver packages, documents, even pets for businesses and individuals. Yours could be a tricycle courier, Motorcycle courier, Van courier or a medical courier service. 

10 Business Ideas You Can Start With Little Capital in Africa in 2021
Courier service business

The healthcare industry, for one, is expanding, and this is great for medical courier service job stability. You won’t need to spend much on equipment, there aren’t any education or experience requirements either. You could start your courier business on your own or hire other drivers to work for you.

Buying and Selling on eBay

eBay is a marketplace auction where you can buy and sell virtually any new or second-hand goods you could think of. Many fortunes have been made and continue to be made by savvy buyers and sellers on eBay.

Buying and selling on eBay are attractive because you can make good bargains, find many undervalued items, correctly re-list on the platform and make a good profit. You can also buy from other platforms (i.e. Alibaba) and resell on eBay to make a killing. A word of caution: if you choose this idea, understand that the market changes quickly, so you’ll need to adjust for most niches to stay profitable constantly.

Dry Cleaning Business

This is one of the easiest businesses to start in Africa because the upfront capital costs are quite low. You can operate this from a room in your home, all you’ll need are basic cleaning supplies and equipment to start. As a cleaning business, you can either choose to serve the residential or commercial market. Put differently, you can clean people’s homes or their business premises.

The cheapest way to reach potential cleaning clients here is through direct marketing.  You could get this done by finding a leaflet template on Microsoft publisher and amending it to relate to your own business. Then start direct marketing, whether through the door-to-door distribution of flyers or putting up your posters in your neighbourhood. This business idea is easy to start but the competition here is intense. You’ll need to make sure that your brand stands out and your pricing is competitive for your local area.

Sale of Digital Products

The market consumption for electronic products is increasing, and if you have an idea that fits this bill, you can turn it into a downloadable digital product and start selling it. You can create an eBook, software, application, scripts, addon’s and video tutorial courses. This business can give you higher profit with low investment. It can be run only on the internet so you won’t need any space or office. It can be done from your home office or part-time.


Starting a successful business these days doesn’t always require a huge capital investment. As long as you have a passion for it, you can start any of these businesses with little capital and grow them at your own pace. It would only be a matter of time before you build your SME into a brand bigger than you ever hoped it could be.

Linda Onyinyechukwu
Linda Onyinyechukwu
Linda Onyinyechukwu
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