Businesses You Can Start Without Money (0 Capital)

One of the common questions I get from my readers is, how can I start a business without money.

You can't avoid this type of question in a country like ours. A country producing graduates, who can't afford to access capital to start businesses of their own. A country that majorly produces graduates whose focuses are to work with government or private companies and travel abroad at any chance.

But when the going gets tough, they, without early consideration, turn to business. 

They're therefore left with the same question of how possible is it to start a business or self-employment without anything in their banks.

Sorry to disappoint you if what you're willing to see on this page is the list of businesses you can do that will require no money to start. I'd be deceiving if I told you a government or NGO, here in Nigeria, would be giving your free money or grant to start your own business.

This post is going to expose you to the practical approach to starting out in business with no money and it's real.

It's real because I wouldn't be telling a story of one James in California. Rather, you'll read my own story. How I started with no money and ended up with a working small-sized computer and education consulting firm in just a few years.

I will also make references to a few people I'd personally coached or met who did just the same.

Service-Based Businesses Won't Require Money or Much

Very many businesses that render services, especially self-employed, will require little or no money to start. 

One mistake you will make if you're poor and you still want to go on an ownership journey is aiming for buying and selling of items or stocking commodities. If that's your choice, you obviously will borrow from families and friends, at least, if a bank loan is not accessible.

The best take should be from any service business around. It only requires more of your talent, knowledge, or technical know-how than money to start certain businesses in your county.

After I left national service, I started a computer training service as a way to raise some money to start my intended business.

My first students were 12. What will surprise you is that this business was started with no money at all.

I didn't have a shop or office where to train my students. I didn't have a computer or laptop of my own.

You wonder how I was able to start such a business in the first place?

Here is the summary of my journey.

I designed an A4-sized worded poster to advertise the computer training class and made a few photocopies. These I pasted within my locality. I promised to train my students in computer appreciation and word processing within three months.

With time, I started receiving calls and people were coming to enroll. I gave them a date to start the classes. I picked a public school around me where I was not charged a kobo other than a warning that I should be sure nothing went wrong with the class. Here, we met from Mondays till Thursdays to learn all sorts of theoretical knowledge of computers.

By Fridays and Saturdays, I divided my students into three sets and took them to a nearby cafe where I bought hours (using their fees). During this session, I showed them how to do practically everything we've covered by theory over the weeks.

I let them practice and within two hours we're done with the practical classes.

This was how I was able to produce my 3 sets of students. And this was literally the beginning of Techie Computer College as we have it today.

With no money down and enough theoretical and practical knowledge, I was able to do the impossible.

A Brother Started His Business with Little Capital

I talked to Yinka to start a business with just N50,000. 

I bet your phone could be costlier than that!

The first question he asked, very skeptically, was, what could I possibly do with that?

He was wrong!

He rented a local shop for N1200 per month, made moderate furniture for the office consisting of a table and a chair for N18,000, and bought a spraying machine at around N11,000.

He moved around the community to tell people, especially house owners, what he could do. He could help them spray the grasses around them, treat their wells, and toilets.

Offers started coming in and of course, he was only supervising a secondary school leaver he employed, part-time, to do the job.

They got offers, billed their clients, and bought the chemical to do the spray.

In no time, he got three staff - one secretary on full time while the two other guys were on part-time. 

The secretary attended to clients and prospects and took orders while Yinka was out marketing. 

Most of his clients subscribed to them for 24 sprays a year, some went for 15 sprays while the least was 12 sprays.

The last time I spoke to Yinka, he was so choked with offers that he was considering raising prices to get himself relieved.

You Don't Need Money to Start Business as Much As You Need Creativity

The case studies above were just a few of what could tell you about how people are making things happen without money. 

One thing you fail to see in your search for the future is the creativity that God has already invested in you.

That reminds me of a song by "I am already enough" by Fearless Soul.

You're already what you need to start that business - not necessarily the money.

I've met people who started businesses because they had the money and in a few months into the operations lost everything. 

In most cases, those businesses wounded up not because of the lack of sales or revenues but because they're not creative enough to sustain the businesses.

Learn to look within because what you need truly is within you.

After his graduation, Shola was left stranded until he got the idea of the local real estate agency. All it took him to start were business cards and words of mouth.

He spoke to a few church elders and members that he could help them or anybody get shops, rooms, flats to let. And those who had vacancies should contact him for deals.

The guy was naturally blessed with persuasive skills but he never realized he could use that until hunger blessed him with the new business idea he started with no capital.

He didn't need an office. He could use his parent's house or his own rented apartment.


When you made capital your first item on the list and you're not yet financially blessed, you've just signed up for frustration. 

Bring on ideas. Service businesses are more approachable if you have no kobo to start with. At worst, you learn some vocations before you start.

And if you're already blessed, with talents and creativities, you can turn that into business.

As you're about to make a new chase, remember that "you're already enough".

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