Small Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs in Africa
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Business - March 8, 2023

Small Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs in Africa

Africa is a continent of immense opportunities for existing entrepreneurs and young startups. With a young and entrepreneurial growing population, tech innovation, abundant natural resources the continent is brimming with opportunities.

Africa is a fertile ground for small businesses and it presents loads of opportunities for business growth and development. Many African countries provide grants, tax incentives, and other forms of support for existing and young entrepreneurs and investors which makes these ideas cost effective.

Equipped with the right strategy, business model, and execution, entrepreneurs can create successful and sustainable businesses that contribute to the growth and development of Africa while tapping into a rapidly growing market with enormous potential. Entrepreneurs who are looking to start small businesses in Africa have a wide range of options to choose from. Here are some small business ideas for entrepreneurs in Africa.


According to the World Bank Report, the agribusiness industry in Africa is expected to be worth $1trillion by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to become the world’s biggest exporter of food products with about 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated land, fertile soils, and all-year sunshine.

Africa has a rapidly growing population, which means that there is an increasing demand for food products. The continent’s agricultural sector is vast and offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to produce and process food products for local and export markets.

Also, the continent is rich in natural resources such as fertile land, abundant water, and favorable climatic conditions that are ideal for farming. Agriculture is the backbone of many African economies, and entrepreneurs who invest in the sector can leverage these resources to create sustainable businesses that contribute to the growth and development of the continent.

There is a growing trend towards organic and sustainable agriculture, which presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop environmentally friendly farming practices. Many consumers are willing to pay a premium for organic and sustainably produced food products, creating a niche market for entrepreneurs.

Real Estate

Projects in real estate are constantly emerging in almost every corner of the continent. The biggest attractions lie in residential homes and apartments, office buildings, shopping malls and high-rise hotels.

Mozambique’s property prices at the sea ports, particularly for warehouses, are one of Africa’s most expensive while Luanda in Angola’s prime office rents are among the world’s highest with $150 per sq metre per month.

Nigeria alone has a shortfall of 17 million housing units with a funding requirement of about $363 billion. Countries such as Angola, Nigeria, Egypt, Mozambique, South Africa and Kenya are experiencing a boom in the industry.

Africa’s population is continually growing which has led to a demand for housing and commercial properties. Also, many African countries are currently experiencing rapid urbanization which has led to a growing demand for modern and affordable housing.

Entrepreneurs can take advantage of this to build and rent out residential and commercial properties as well as developing affordable housing projects in urban centers.

Some African countries have implemented policies and reforms that promote investment in the real estate sector, which entrepreneurs can take advantage of in terms of tax incentives, financing options and other forms of government support.


The Mall of Africa opened in South Africa with a massive 131,000 square metres of retail space in 2016 which is the largest shopping mall in Africa ever to be built in one phase. Lots of international and local stores are also going into the space.

Interestingly, it is not only happening physically, ecommerce giants have grown quite impressively in the last few years. 

Retailing is one of the most lucrative ideas due to the continent’s population which has led to its increased demand. The advent of ecommerce has made it easier to penetrate into the market with its ease to reach consumers in remote areas and expand their customer base.

Entrepreneurs should look into the diversity of Africa’s retail sector which offers thriving opportunities for small, medium, and large-scale businesses. Ranging from supermarkets to  local markets, fashion boutiques to electronics and loads of a wide range of niches that entrepreneurs can delve into.

Digital Marketing

Africa has experienced massive internet penetration in recent years with a growing number of digital consumers and more than 500 million internet users. This is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into.

More people have gained access to smartphones and the internet which has made it easy for businesses to reach their target audience through several digital channels such as social media, email, and search engine marketing. It is also cost effective, making it an attractive option.

The tech industry is also raging with lots of startups and digital marketing agencies  embedded with digital marketing services such as website design, social media management, and search engine optimization. 

 Transport and Logistics

Africa’s growing populations and increased trade and investment opportunities has made Transport and Logistics a promising business venture.

More businesses are entering into the African market, which creates a growing need for transportation and logistics services to aid movement of goods and people across the continent.

A logistics business can be cost-effective depending on the approach and strategy used. With these growing needs, entrepreneurs can capitalize on the continent’s growth potential.

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