Sixty percent of Nigeria’s population is youth, and according to a 2022 Unemployment Index report, more than 50 percent of youth citizens are unemployed or underemployed.
The unemployment challenge in the country is growing, with the number of unemployed young men and women increasing every year.
With the federal government seemingly lacking in ideas to solve the problem, people have had to turn to entrepreneurship and find alternative ways to make money both online and offline.
However, the main challenge for most young Nigerians is finding the funding to start a business, even if they have an idea. Millions of young people in the country have internet-enabled devices, but many don’t know how to use them to their advantage, so they just browse online content aimlessly.
Starting an online business without money can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some examples of how to start an online business with no upfront investment:
1. Direct selling
With dropshipping, you can sell products online without inventory. You create an online store, work with suppliers who handle product storage and shipping, and only buy items when customers place orders. You make a profit by adding a markup to the price of your product.
You can set up an online store that sells popular clothing and accessories from various suppliers. When a customer places an order, the supplier ships the product directly to the customer, and you earn a profit from the difference.
2. Affiliate Marketing
This business model involves promoting other companies’ products or services and earning a commission for each sale or lead generated through your referral. You don’t need to create or stock products; instead, you focus on marketing and driving traffic to your affiliate links.
You could start a blog or YouTube channel focused on reviewing tech products. By joining an affiliate program like Amazon Associates, you can generate affiliate links for the products you review. When your viewers make a purchase through your link, you earn a commission.
3. Print on Demand (POD)
POD allows you to design and sell custom products like t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases without having to carry inventory. You work with a POD supplier who prints and ships products on demand when customers place orders.
You can create an online store featuring your unique artwork or designs. Every time a customer orders a product with your design, the POD supplier prints it and ships it directly to the customer, and you profit from it.
If you have specific skills, you can offer your services as a freelancer. You can provide services such as writing, graphic design, web development, social media management, or virtual assistance.
As a freelance writer, you can offer your services on platforms like Upwork, Freelancer or Fiverr. Clients hire you to write articles, blog posts, or website content, and you get paid for your work.
5. Online consultation
If you have expertise in a particular field, you can offer consulting services online. You provide advice, guidance and solutions to clients who need help with specific challenges.
Let’s say you have extensive experience in digital marketing. You can create a website to showcase your skills and knowledge, and provide consulting services to businesses looking for help with their online marketing strategies.
Remember that even though these businesses can start without capital, they still require time, effort, and skill to succeed. Building a solid online presence, marketing your business, and delivering value to your customers are key factors for long-term success.