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8 Businesses You Can Start from Your Smartphone In Nigeria

In a little over a decade, the smartphone has gone from being a status symbol to a becoming a basic necessity owned by every other person. And ownership figures for these gadgets are still on the rise, due in large part to the fall in their prices. Recent estimates by the Nigerian Communications Commission put the number of active phone lines in the country at over 148 million – a staggering number by all accounts.

But what could a smartphone do for the millions of people who own them? You know what the typical answers are: voice calls, text messaging, social media and the internet, plus an ever expanding list of utilities enabled by mobile apps. Nothing to see here. Or so you might think.

What do you say to making money with your phone?

Your phone could be an income earner for you. There are several smartphone-enabled enterprises you could try your hands on. Here, we’re presenting you with eight.

Social media management

If you know the alleyways and corners of social media like the back of your hand, you could be a social media manager for a company or a reputable individual. You could get paid for running and maintaining their social media pages.

The great thing about this job is that you typically don’t have to spend a whole lot to start off or continue with it (this applies to most of the other businesses we’ll discuss here). All you’ll require is a decent grade smartphone with the relevant social media apps installed.

Outsourced shopping service

These days, working people find it difficult to juggle their jobs and other essential activities like stocking up on groceries at home. Hired shoppers have turned this challenge into a business opportunity. They get paid for the doing the market errands by the people who hire them.

This – as well as everything else that’s classified as ‘virtual assistance’ – can be run with your phone as a principal business tool. With it, you can set up and manage a shopping assistance business page on Facebook or Instagram. These could serve as your ‘online office’, a point from which you can connect with potential clients and take orders.

As your business grows, you might want to create a proper website for it. But social media is a good platform for starting up.

Of course, you might also have to communicate with your clients via voice or video calls; your phone is important for this too.


Thanks to increased mobile camera capabilities and video editing apps, you can actually make quality videos with your phone. And if you’re keen on doing the video thing really well, you could purchase or hire a few other equipment- such as tripods and stabilizers -to help improve the functionality of your phone in this respect.

You can shoot videos with your smartphone for clients who’ll pay you for doing so. Or you could make them for your own YouTube channel, and if they’re popular enough, you might make money off them through this means as well.


Again, we have mobile apps to thank for this. Whether you’re a freelance writer or blogger, you have apps at your disposal that could help you do everything your job requires of you through your smartphone. From Word documents and writing assistants to blogging platform apps and Google, you quite literally have the whole suite to work with at the tip of your fingers.

Mobile airtime top up

Mobile airtime from telecommunications companies can be sold through phone transfers. You can become a mobile recharge retail agent by registering as one or subscribing to programs designed for this by telecoms companies. You’ll earn  commissions for selling top ups.

Forex Trading

Forex trading, which is essentially trading international currencies, is for the most part the preserve of large financial institutions. But individuals are also getting more involved, as public knowledge of the workings of global finance increases. They are able to take part because the trade is decentralized, and there aren’t any real restrictions barring single person or small group participants from exchanging currencies for profit.

Smartphones have become better able to take on forex trading platforms, so it’s possible to manage your activities at the market with one.

Be sure that you’ve learnt the skill required for this from a trusted company in this sphere, and that you’re trading on a legitimate platform.

Sell on classified Ads sites

You can help people put their things up for sale on classified ad sites, and get a commission for doing so. Of course, you can sell your own stuff on such platforms as well.

Social media influencer

Being influential on social media comes down to being an interesting ‘voice’ on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; a voice interesting enough to attract a huge following. If you’re able to amass a large fanbase on these platforms, you’ll put yourself in good stead to be an influencer, one that’s capable of swaying the opinions of a large number of people.

Many businesses are willing to pay social media influencers to market their products to their audience. You could also sell your own things to your followers as well, if your offerings fit into their typical shopping basket.

As with all the other businesses listed here, you can build your influencer brand with little more than just your smartphone.

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.



  1. Pingback: Nigeria Could Soon Get a New Smartphone Manufacturing Plant - EM West Africa

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