Fresh out of school, I started a home-movie marketing business with zero capital. Later, I started a jewellery business with less than $150. Afterwards, I started a media business with less than $100. When I sold the UK used laptops, I started with less than $1,000.
$1,000 in a developed country like US, Canada or Australia is not the same as $1,000 in most African cities. In essence, if you live in Africa, with $1,000 there are lucrative business opportunities to make money.
In this video, I’m going to share with you 7 lucrative businesses you can start in Africa with under $1,000. Even if you don’t have up to $1,000, if you are hard-working and innovative, you can start some of these businesses with less than $300. Before we get to it, be sure to subscribe to After School TV for more insightful videos like this.
The president of the African Development Bank made the bold statement that the next crop of African billionaires will be farmers! Of course, you and I know that farming is only a fraction of the agriculture value chain. But I believe he was referring to agriculture as the wealth vehicle of the future.
What’s more interesting is that you don’t need to go large scale to make money from agriculture. You can start a small scale agric business with less than $1,000. It can be a snail, poultry, fish or vegetable farm. There is a lot of money to be made from farming to supply of agric produce, mini-processes and across the value chain of the agric industry without a huge capital.
You can lease a piece of land in a rural area at a very cheap rate and start farming. Many successful agriculture entrepreneurs today, started from their backyard or with a small piece of land.
2. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest business models anyone with the right knowledge can make a lot of money from with little investment. As an affiliate marketer, your job is to help people find quality and reliable products or services in a chosen niche and get a commission each time someone buys from your recommendation.
Thanks to the internet, billions of dollars in transactions exchange hands every day for the purchase of goods and services online. And a good part of these transactions is catalyzed by affiliate marketers.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to make money, without going through the rigour of conceptualizing, creating and keeping stock on your own product. The best part is that you can start with far less than $1,000 dollars.
Your major cost would be a domain name, hosting and designing your website, and paying for adverts. If you have an engaging social media following, you can even start with zero capital. There is an affiliate program in almost every industry to choose from. You can find a variety of products to promote on Amazon, Jumia, Linkshare and such platforms.
3. Fashion accessories
Like food, clothing is a basic human need. People will continue to buy new clothes, shoes, belts, and handbags no matter how many they already have.
Without a doubt, the high demand in the fashion industry attracts huge competition. But with the right strategy, branding and leveraging digital technology, you can start with under $1,000 and make a living from the fashion industry.
You can make money taking orders online and printing on-demand custom T-shirts. You can start an online retail store from your home without worrying about the cost of rental and other expenses of running a physical retail store.
Thrift clothing, also known as second-hand clothing business is another lucrative business in the fashion industry – a $17 billion industry in the US alone. You can buy first grade thrift clothes at a very cheap price and sell them at a premium price.
Jewellery is another multibillion dollar sector of the fashion industry. With a capital of under $1,000, you can start buying affordable jewellery and selling for a handsome profit. With the effective use of social media and digital marketing, you can attract repeat customers.
Another way to make money from jewellery is to make them. There is a hot market for locally made afro-centric jewellery. The good part is that you don’t have to have the skill to make the jewellery. You can find and work with a number of jewellery makers and use your digital marketing skill to sell at your own price.
4. Cleaning service
Everyone wants to keep their home and workplace clean and tidy, but not many people want to do the work themselves. That presents a good opportunity for entrepreneurs who don’t mind getting their hands dirty to start a cleaning business. Cleaning is a low-cost business you can start with well below $1,000 in many urban cities in Africa. You can offer a combination of indoor, carpet, pool or upholstery cleaning with some basic cleaning equipment.
Here is an unpopular opportunity in the cleaning business. Airbnb is a growing company around the world and will likely be around for years in the hotel accommodation business. If you want to explore a new growing area, you can manage people’s Airbnb properties in major cities for a fee. You would be in charge of keeping the apartment or room clean, setting up the rooms for guests, and helping them with anything they need.
The interesting thing about the cleaning business is that you don’t have to do the cleaning yourself. You can focus on getting clients, and hire other people to do the cleaning.
5. Food delivery service
If you love to cook, with a little budget, you can start a business selling food to local customers online. Customers order your food online, you cook on demand and have it delivered to them conveniently.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to rent a space, buy sits and tables and other items a typical restaurant would need. If you can work from your home kitchen, you’ll just need to buy some kitchen equipment and utensils and the rest of your money will likely go toward food items.
You can even extend your offering to catering services to clients who don’t require you to have a full kitchen right away. If you love managing the details of events such as location, themes, and food, you can move to start your own event planning business. It all depends on how ambitious you are.
6. Digital marketing agency
Another lucrative business you can start with under $1,000 is a digital marketing agency for enterprises and brands. Digital marketing has become a strategy every organization and brand on needs and wants to leverage.
Businesses need to create modern websites. They need to grow their social media presence and engagement. They need to reach more customers and connect with existing customers. Political candidates and politicians need campaigns to reach their digitally savvy citizens.
If you have digital marketing skills, you can help these entities solve these problems and make a lot of money. You just need a domain name for your website, hosting, a computer, internet connection and advertising budget. If you are vast in digital marketing, at first you may not need to spend on advertising. You can reach prospective clients through cold email, effective content marketing, social media engagement and other organic methods.
Digital marketing services may seem like an already crowded market but the opportunity is large enough if you are creative and imaginative. The best approach to start a digital marketing agency is to pick a niche and a segment of digital marketing. For example, you can offer website design service for corporate clients, online advertising for education industry, or search engine optimization for personal coaches.
Photography is another lucrative business you can start in African with under $1,000. Your major expense will be camera and photography equipment. The standard equipment can be really expensive. But you can start a photography business with a moderate priced camera, and accessories with under $1,000. And still, have some change to set up your online presence.
As a photographer, you’ll have a broad array of clients; from weddings to parties, events, and celebrity photo-shoot. Social media further broadens the market for photography as people want to post professional shots on their Instagram and other social media profile whether for special occasions or just for their personal brand.
If you are entrepreneurial, you can build a company and provide additional services to your clients like makeup, hairstyling and event planning. But you don’t have to do all these to succeed as a photographer.
You can even offer aerial video and drone photography services, as there is increasing demand for drone shots across different industries. You don’t have to buy a drone in the beginning. You can rent.
Tell us. Which of these businesses do you find most interesting? Let us know in the comment section below. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!