The manufacturing industry in East Africa and many other countries across Africa is growing at a faster pace because of the attention it now receives. The economies of these nations are largely dependent on imports, and the negative impacts of this is driving the countries to create great incentives and easier access to loans for locals who choose to manufacture their products within their borders.
Manufacturing has been the largest creator of billionaire entrepreneurs worldwide. There’s a limit to what you can achieve if you import to sell, or distribute another firms products. But when you manufacture, you control the processes the products go through, directly determine their quality, and can have a great influence on the final price.
Manufacturing breaks the glass ceiling and takes your business beyond its current state to the next level.
If you’re thinking of going into manufacturing but don’t know what to focus on, here are 35+ profitable small scale manufacturing business ideas and opportunities in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, across Africa, and in many other places around the world:
1). Electrical Equipment And Fittings Production:
A large number of people change their electric bulbs, socket extensions, and general electrical equipment and fittings several times during the year. These changes are largely caused by abnormal fluctuations in the electric currents and many other factors.
With millions of households undergoing an electrical equipment change routine yearly, starting a manufacturing business in the sector is a smart decision.
2). Papers And Notebooks Production:
Offices use countless numbers of paper work daily. Schools on the other hand consume an extraordinary amounts of papers through books used by their students. And yet, these two gigantic markets are not the only consumers of papers and notebooks in East africa and many other countries around the world.
By starting a manufacturing business in this over-demanded sector, you can grow a successful business.
3). Children’s Toys Production:
Toys continue to remain a classic high-demand tool for kids to while away time, groom their creativity, and give their parents some free time during the day. Every child in the world can relate with toys, especially since they play with almost every less threatening object they come in contact with.
Once you understand how to approach and leverage the market, starting a children’s toys manufacturing business is a great bet.
4). Kitchen Utensils And Cutleries Production:
At several times of the day, kitchen utensils and cutleries are always in use. People cook and eat every minute, and so, there’s hardly a time they’re not in use.
By taking advantage of the never-ending need for kitchen utensils and cutleries, you can grow a successful manufacturing business that leverages an over-sized market.
5). Bottled & Sachet Water Production:
Water is a universal need and must be drank at several times in a day. In traffic, school, work, and many other places, people are constantly drinking water.
You can take advantage of this basic human need to build a manufacturing business in bottled and sachet water production that will have a constant cashflow irrespective of the economic situation.
6). Fertilizer Production:
Before a farmland is tilled, it is first tested for its fertility level. Depending on how fertile or not the land is, fertilizers are mostly applied in a bid to improve the crop yields.
The use of fertilizers in farming is wide spread, considering the number of farmers and the collective size of farmlands available in East Africa and many other countries across Africa.
By starting a fertiliser manufacturing business, you walk into a market with an abundant demand.
7). Beads And Ornaments Production:
Africa’s rich culture has created a large market for the production and sales of beads and ornaments. These beauty tools are worn to events, parties, occasions, and even for work.
With an abundance of local materials to create stunning beads and ornaments, you can start a successful manufacturing business.
8). Baking And Catering Services:
Cakes are a big sellout in East Africa and many other countries, especially if you’re selling them at the right price. Asides cakes, baked snacks are sold a lot in secondary schools, public gatherings, traffic, and many other places.
Baking and catering services is a great business to venture into.
9). Purses And Handbags Production:
Purses and handbags are a lady’s unconscious best friends. They hold on to them almost anywhere they go, and keep their valuables in them.
An average lady owns at least three handbags, and can be highly picky when trying to choose which would suit a great outfit or an occasion.
You can take advantage of the purse and handbag rave inEast Africa or Africa to manufacture trendy low cost handbags at a premium quality. Attaining this grade would spread word about your brand very fast.
10). Juice Production:
Drinking fresh juice can be a great way to cool off and ease stress. While not too many people drink fresh juice in comparison to carbonated drinks, manufacturing this product for a well defined market can make you a lot of money.
11). Ice Block Production:
Poor electricity is a night mare in Africa, especially Nigeria. This lack causes people to end up selling beverages (any type of drink that’s not water) that are not cold and unacceptable to many people. You could solve this problem by starting an ice block production business.
12). Gari Production And Packaging:
Gari is one of the most popular staple meals in East Africa and may parts of Africa. You can start a Gari processing facility to produce this food from cassava for distribution or sale in the open market.
13). Yogurt Production:
Yogurts are craved by so many people. It is consumed on a regular basis especially at the gym, in traffic, schools, and many other locations. You can start a yogurt production business to satisfy the cravings of people who lookout for it.
14). Cassava Chips Production:
This involves peeling, washing, chipping cassava roots, and drying the chips or slices in the sun. Cassava chips are the most common form dried cassava roots are sold. It is also the way a lot of countries produce them for exports.
15). Soaps And Detergents Production:
People bathe and wash everyday! They do this with different types of soaps and detergents. You can tap into this highly recurrent market by selling soaps and detergents that are highly effective and weigh cheaper than the competition’s.
16). Garment Production:
This could be producing dresses, suits, and any form of fashion item that is worn as clothe on the body. The need for custom made or ready-made clothes in East Africa is so evident with tailors located at almost every street corner of the country. You can tap into this market and make quality dresses suitable for work or occasions, and sell them at low prices.
17). Pesticide And Insecticide Production:
With a high rate of pests and diseases infesting farmlands and homes, the market for pesticides and insecticides continue to soar. Even some of the largest agribusinesses in the world are also into the manufacturing and sales of pesticides for farmlands among other products.
18). Flour Production:
Flour is used in the production of many baked products, especially bread. The volume of breads consumed daily continues to validate the flour production industry and opens wider opportunities for entrepreneurs.
You could take advantage of this opportunity by producing and distributing flour to bakeries at a highly competitive price.
19). Health Supplement Production:
Health supplements are used by the elderly, people with medical conditions, and others trying to live healthy lives. It addresses a health-based market, and this is one industry with a very large market, provided the price is right.
20). Furniture Production:
You can reduce people’s urge to go abroad to buy luxury furniture by producing local alternatives that can match up to their international counterparts. These locally produced furniture should be cheaper than their international alternatives, if they’d be appreciated by the locals in the country.
21). Tissue Papers & Serviette Production:
Everyone uses a toilet at some point, and so tissue papers. While there’s a large number of people who don’t use tissue papers, the percentage which does, far out-numbers them. You could go into the production of tissue papers and at some point, serviettes.
22). Nylons And Polythene Bags Production:
You could leverage the plastic recycling industry to produce nylons and polythene bags at far reduced rates than you originally would have. Starting a manufacturing business addressing this market will open you up to a large opportunity, especially if your factory is located close to a very popular market.
23). Paper Bags Production:
Paper bags can also be manufactured from recycled materials at reduced costs. You can manufacture them for use in supermarkets, marketplaces, and several other locations.
24). Charcoal Production:
Charcoal is an alternative for cooking gas, especially in Africa. Many African families still use it to prepare their meals, and would find it difficult to go a day without it. You could take advantage of this market by making or purchasing charcoal products in large quantities for exports.
25). Egg Production:
Eggs sold in supermarkets are largely gotten from distributors who own large poultry farms with thousands of layer hens. With a large market for the farm product, you can start an egg production business and distribute your farm products to a wide supply network.
26). Air Fresheners Production:
Ever entered a car, room, or office and fell in love with its scent? If you have, then you know the power of air fresheners. People buy them to improve the scent of their environments, and as such, they sell out a lot to companies and motorists. You could start an air freshener production business with a unique scent anyone would want to have in their environment.
27). Custard Manufacturing:
Custards are a big sell-out. Many East African households buy them as an alternative to “pap” because of their packaging, neatness, health consciousness, and better attention to detail. You could start a custard production business and distribute your products for sale to supermarkets and mini-stores in your neighbourhood.
28). Palm Oil Production:
Palm oils are used in cooking most of our everyday meals. They come in different brands and are sold in many food stores. The thing here is most people don’t care what brand name is on the palm oil bottle as long as the price is right and the quality is good. You can take advantage of this to start a palm oil production business in your locality.
29). Packaging Box And Cartons Production:
Boxes and cartons are used to package items set for delivery. Their uses are widespread and can be noticed everyday in many shapes and sizes. You can start a box and carton production business to make custom packaging for potential clients in your country. The larger the client, the more boxes you’d have to churn out for them.
30). Cell Phone Case Production:
Cell phone cases are sold in large volumes in many technology trade centres in Africa. the most prominent is the computer village in East Africa, where thousands of products are sold on a daily basis, including phone cases and pouches.
You can take advantage of the market to start producing these phone accessory and distributing to resellers at the computer village or selling on online market places.
31). Disposal Cup Production:
Disposal cups are used a lot at parties where alcohol is largely served. With several of these events happening daily, you could start a manufacturing business that produces disposal cups in different shapes and sizes for different types of occasions.
32). Shoe Gum Production:
Finding high quality shoe gum at a very low price is one of the biggest challenges local manufacturers face in East Africa and many parts of Africa. This is one reason their shoe qualities are either low and don’t last, or are high quality with exorbitant prices.
You could do a comprehensive research, training, and then start a local shoe gum manufacturing business to sell high quality gums to shoe manufacturers for a far lesser price than their imported alternatives.
33). Paint Manufacturing:
Paints are used in beautifying houses and other items. While there are different type of paints for different purposes, they all serve one purpose: to add a great appeal to the look and feel of any object they’re used on.
You could take advantage of the paint market by starting a local paint manufacturing business. Your paints don’t exactly have to be focused on houses. They could be the types used in spraying cars and other types of objects.
Identify a great target market and determine the best type of paints that will work well in their production process.
34). Body Lotion Manufacturing:
Body lotions are used by people for many purposes. They could be used to keep the skin dry, make it slightly moist, or even to bleach it up. You can take advantage of a lotion niche, especially skin bleaching, to manufacture body creams that deliver great results. Then promote them well with their success stories.
35). Biros And Pen Manufacturing:
Biros and pen manufacturing is an ever growing business niche that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. You could take advantage of their upward trend to start manufacturing your own variations and selling to specific markets.
36). Perfume Making:
The perfume production business is a highly competitive one. Most people know what they want to buy and others just want to buy what smells good. You can compare the top selling perfumes and the low selling variations, find out what makes the top really expensive, then make amazing perfumes that deliver rich aromas the top brands deliver, but cost almost the same as the cheaper brands.
By undercutting the competition and delivering an exceptional product, you can grow a thriving perfume production and sales business fast.
What are your thoughts on these small scale manufacturing business ideas you can start in Africa? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Business Analyst at Tunayo Business Magazine | Follow me on Twitter