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Legitimate Online Business in Nigeria Today

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In an effort to ensure that a large portion of the 33.33 percent unemployed Nigerians earns a living despite Nigeria’s weak new job creation, Omobobola Popoola has put together a list of legitimate online businesses that both graduates and undergraduates Nigerians can engage in.

For a long time, the world has been referred to as a global village. This is due to the daily increase in the development of new technology as well as the usage of existing ones. Since the invention of the mobile phone, technology has only continued to advance.

The introduction of the internet has advanced the world much faster than would be expected. The traditional business is conducted offline, with transactions taking place physically. The integration of business with the internet has been met with success rates that almost mirror the rates of some physical businesses.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 revolutionized the business space, moving some physical businesses online and further boosting some already-online businesses during the lockdown period.

In Nigeria, there is a stigmatization that comes with online business dealings. A lot of people think about internet fraud whenever they think about jobs that concern the internet or technology. This article will present some online businesses in Nigeria which are legitimate, and can also help the owner earn a good living at least in Nigeria.

Some of these businesses are:

  1. Blogging

This is one of the most online ventures one can involve themselves in, in Nigeria. The very first, most important skill to have when preparing to start blogging is the writing skill. You must be able to convey information to your readers in a way that can evoke emotion and interest terribly.

Content needs to be updated to your blog regularly, to keep it relevant and to continue generating traffic to the site. To start, you may not need a lot of capital. Capital in the blogging space usually involves the money paid to secure your own site in your domain name. However, when starting the blog you can decide to use outlets like WordPress to gather enough attention and rake in income.

Blogging income usually comes from promotion for other sites and brands, who have noticed the huge amount of traffic which your blog generates. As the blog grows, you can begin to charge higher and higher for promotions. Some bloggers are paid millions of naira for promotions which could last a week, days or even hours.

  1. Online Advertising Agencies

In Nigeria, as the general online presence increases so does online advertising. So many businesses are seeking to take advantage of the online space to put their businesses “out there”. This is majorly to leverage the extremely huge community of internet users and successfully market their products.

There are different ways through which online marketing can be done, through blogging, affiliate marketing, etc. Some brands may however be unwilling to use these platforms, due to their existing reputation or simply due to preference.

You can set up your own advertising agency, with a big or small team of people who create content and analyse trends, making millions of Naira from the business. The charge may be higher than blogs however, because an advertising agency usually does more focused advertisement.

  1. Sell Art Online

In recent years, art has gotten much more recognition in this part of the world than it had before. Different forms of art have their own audiences, who would be willing to pay good money for the works of art which they like.

If you paint, make music or take pictures, you can sell your work online. Digital and physical art pieces can be sold through online means, and these are usually worth quite a lot of money.

You can make a physical painting and market it through online platforms, or create digital art with some specialized software and sell off the rights to that art through those online platforms. If you are involved in music and music production, you can sell beats, lyrics, songs as digital products. Art is highly valuable and is a very good source of income in the online space.

  1. Become a Freelancer

While freelancing is not the most innovative online business idea, it is still a great choice with a low hindrance to those interested in entering into it. Freelancing is most commonly related to writing, but it also can be open to developers and graphic designers. As a freelancer, your skills will be put to use helping people around the world while also earning money (even in foreign currency, which is lucrative as long as you live in this country).

One advantage of freelancing is that you can work at your own pace, picking projects that you know you can handle and not biting more than you can chew. If you have a daily job which does not take up much of your time, you can be a freelancer by the side and have two sources of income.

  1. Be a Social Influencer

The sheer popularity of apps like Twitter and Instagram in Nigeria makes the influencer market more attractive than most business ventures. Even though customers are being more market-savvy, the influencer business is still up for grabs.

If you have and maintain a strong social media presence on either app, brands can approach you to help market their products. Influencers can sometimes have areas of specialization too. If you are a photographer whose pictures or a content creator whose stories usually draw a lot of engagement, you can qualify for the influencer position. This is because the content on your social media page is enough to draw users to you.

Influencing is not only limited to Twitter and Instagram, however. With the introduction of the new social media platform TikTok, there has been a huge boom in creators of short video content. Some of those who are very popular on the app are approached by some brands to advertise their products in their video content.

Platforms like YouTube and Facebook are not excluded from the social influencing business. Facebook users with a lot of engagements and many friends could be employed by brands to promote their products in posts. Popular YouTube channels could also be approached to carry out direct endorsements of products in their videos, and both would get paid (with the pay varying depending on the brand they are marketing).

  1. Affiliate Marketing

This is yet another marketing-related opportunity in the online space. Affiliate marketing is when you officially endorse a product by sharing it on your email list, your blog, your social media pages, or other means. Whenever someone clicks your special referral code or link, you earn a commission from the brand whose product you are advertising.

Some companies have special programmes for affiliate marketing, and encourage people to join them. Once you have signed up to these programmes, you start sharing the referral link or code. You can do this creatively by creating content to accompany the product and the producer, while adding the link.

Ensure that your content touches upon how good the product or service you’re promoting is, but make sure that you do not overload the readers with advertisements. This could very easily throw them off your work.

  1. Paid Online Surveys

Marketers usually pay individuals as much as $300 per day to fill surveys in person. However, with the direction the world is taking now (coronavirus and its aftermath), these marketers are turning to the online space for these paid surveys. While these online surveys may not pay as much as the physical surveys, doing enough of them means you’ll get paid more. It would also be easier, as it is something you can do from the comfort of your own home.

SMEs

Microsoft Strengthens Partnership With AFDB, to Develop Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Africa

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American multinational technology corporation Microsoft has strengthened its partnership with the African Development Bank (AFDB) to provide support to Africa’s youth entrepreneurs under the bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks (YEIB) Initiative.

Through its African Transformation Office (ATO), Microsoft will partner with AFDB to develop entrepreneurship ecosystems in Africa through the creation of jobs and dramatically scaling impact in Africa through digital inclusion.

The partnership will see to the establishment and growth of national-level institutions, leveraging public-private collaboration model to ensure entrepreneurs get the required technical and financial support while building their capacity.

Microsoft reinforced its partnership with AFDB to develop Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem because it believes youth empowerment in the region will bolster solutions to unemployment if there is affordable access to finance, and quality business development services.

Commenting on its reinforced partnership with AFDB, General Manager of Microsoft Africa Regional Cluster, Wael Elkabbany said: “We believe much can be done to help foster youth entrepreneurship by collaborating with the African Development Bank, driving greater economic inclusion for this key segment of the population, and ultimately building a more prosperous society.”

”Already we’ve seen considerable success partnering together on initiatives such as Coding for Employment, which set out to create over 9 million jobs and reach 32 million youth and women across Africa in just 10 years.”

Also, the African Development Bank (AFDB) Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization Solomon Quaynor said “The strengthening of our partnership with Microsoft on the Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks (YEIB) is an important development in our journey towards harnessing Africa’s demographic dividend and facilitating the creation of millions of jobs for young Africans by 2025.

“The initiative places much-needed focus on youth entrepreneurship, which is key to achieving our ambitious employment targets.”

This partnership seeks to support the establishment of national-level institutions through a public-private collaboration model to scale up technical and financial support for youth entrepreneurs to build their capacity.

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SMEs

USAID Trade Hub Partners ShEquity to Support Over 100 African Women Entrepreneurs

USAID, ShEquity to invest and support more than 100 high-potential women-owned businesses with a sum of $1.2m

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United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Trade Hub, West Africa Trade & Investment Hub has partnered with an African Investment Hub, ShEquity to invest and support more than 100 high-potential women-owned businesses with a sum of $1.2m.

The businesses targeted will operate in one of six key sectors: agribusiness, healthcare, tech-enabled solutions, renewable energy, mobility, and fast-moving consumer goods.

“Women entrepreneurs are integral for Africa’s success, as they operate more than 40 percent of small and medium-sized businesses on the continent. However, African women entrepreneurs face the hurdle of collectively growing these businesses due to $42bn less in financing than their male counterparts,” Founder and Managing Director of ShEquity, Pauline Koelbl stated.

Koelbl added that if Africa is to reach its full economic potential, smart investment for African women entrepreneurs needs to be dramatically increased. “The lack of financing, combined with insufficient business support, put potential women entrepreneurs and those seeking to expand their already successful businesses in a growth deficit or low-income trap, widening the gender gap and reinforcing negative biases,” he said.

The partnership between ShEquity and USAID Trade Hub will focus on challenges facing Africa by bringing cash investment, structured technical support, and access to high-value networks.

As for ShEquity, it will generate at least $15m in private funding that will in turn be used to “invest, upscale and accelerate women-owned or led businesses operating in Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, and Niger.”

Also, through this partnership, ShEquity will provide business development services and technical support to 120 women-owned or led businesses in the target markets and also select 12 high-growth, high-impact businesses that will each receive at least $50,000 in venture capital funding.

The combined investments in the 12 selected companies are expected to create at least 200 jobs and benefit around 20,000 people economically either directly or indirectly, along their respective value chains, through 2024.

According to Koelbl, ShEquity’s current portfolio of companies has impacted more than 13.5 million people across Sub-Saharan.

Koelbl stated: “We are excited about the future, as we hope to see more action towards democratizing access to capital and closing the gender funding gap in Africa. Backing female-led funds is the best strategy to address gender funding gap because of its trickle-down effect: more diversity in capital allocators translates into diversity of businesses getting funded,” he continued.

The USAID Trade Hub’s partnership with ShEquity represents its commitment to ensuring more women in West Africa have the access to finance, resources, and knowledge needed to grow their businesses and speed economic development in the region.

ShEquity has since invested in eight businesses in Sub-Saharan countries. Since the launch, ShEquity has been investing as a special vehicle purpose and is now in the process of formalizing into a venture capital fund structure.

 

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Bank of Industry Disburses N213.63bn to Over 30,000 Businesses in 2021

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The Bank of Industry (BOI) has revealed that it disbursed a total of N213.63 billion to 30,406 businesses in Nigeria in the 2021 financial year.

The Managing  Director of BOI, Olukayode Pitan disclosed this at the 62nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank on Thursday in Abuja. He said that the bank was able to successfully scale up its developmental impacts in 2021 despite the challenges and limitations caused by COVID-19.

Pitan said “at the peak of COVID-19 in 2020, the bank took steps to support customers with a two per cent reduction in interest rates for a year alongside an extension of loan tenors and moratoriums. He said that the operating environment improved in 2021 and that is the reason they have decided to extend the incentives until March 31, 2022.”

He added that all ongoing projects were reviewed to assess emerging risks and opportunities and also additional support was provided.

“In the year under review, the bank disbursed a total of N213.63 billion to 30,406 Nigerian enterprises through both direct and indirect methods. This represents a 47.3 per cent increase over disbursements in 2020.

“The 2021 disbursements include N2.99billion to 22,120 farmers through our smallholder  farmers on  lending product and one billion Naira to 4,000 micro-retailers through our MSMEs distributor finance programme.

“At BoI, we have since taken measures to ensure that our systems, processes and people are continuously equipped to meet the evolving business environment.

“Today, we are a more agile and adaptive institution,  able to provide the necessary developmental support for Nigeria’s real sector in an ever-changing economy.

“Our commitment to building a resilient organisation that can respond to the needs of our customers and operating challenges is unwavering.

“We strongly believe that we can achieve this with the continuous support of the stakeholders.” he further said. 

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