What do Hewlett-Packard, Subway, and Mattel have in common? Besides being global brands, they all began with almost no start-up capital.

Starting a business with no money might seem impossible, but it’s often entirely doable with some clever planning. What’s more, it will teach you to be creative and entrepreneurial and make you less likely to dig into your savings.


Can you start a business without any capital?

Yes! It is entirely possible to start a business with no money.

Assuming you have marketable skills and already own some equipment, you should be able to start generating an income.

This could include things like:

Kota kiosk


Delivery services

Repairs and handyman services

Having said that, most start-ups require at least a small amount of money to get going.

Before continuing with this post, read this story below


Chinasa (not real name), is a fulltime stay at home mum with 2 daughters.

Her husband worked for a Microfinance Bank and they agreed she would not work until the kids get to 10 years.

One day, Chinasa’s husband lost his job. He approved a loan higher than his usual limit and the loan went bad. Management said he compromised his values because the loan was given to his church. He was asked to leave.

Sadly, he wasn’t a person with huge savings and he also has no interest in running a business. So he came home and sank into sadness.

Chinasa watched his small money going down and down. Ha! She said she lived each day in fear and wasn’t ready to suffer when the money finally finishes.

Oh I love Chinasa. I love her spirit.
This post is about her.
It is about how she stood up, and saved her home from the wicked claws of poverty.

She said that rather than cry or fall into sadness like her husband, she spent her days thinking of what business would bring them at least 3k to 5k daily so they can survive, without requiring huge capital.

Within one month, an idea dropped in her mind.

Her househelp!

Yes, Ene her help.
Ene is a very loving Idoma girl who had lived with her for 2 years.
Ene makes amazing plaiting and braiding.

If she could have a conversation with Ene, so they start a business, she would sell the services and Ene would do the work.

Yes, great plan.

She called Ene, sat her down and shared the idea.

Ene was so happy. Ene was family already and could see Oga doesn’t go to work again.

Chinasa wrote down her marketing and startup plan.

1. Chat up privately all the women in the estate Whatsapp group and tell them to braid or plait their hair in her house.

2. Upload pictures she had of all the nice hair that Ene had made for her and her daughters in the past on her Whatsapp status everyday and invite people to call her.

3. Every customer that comes to make hair, plead with her to help her tell 2 or 3 friends about Chinasa

4. Call up her close relatives and friends to help her raise 100k to buy some basic tools like hair-wash basin, hand dryer, long mirror and others. Chinasa is a good person. She raised over 280k sef when she called.

This was her simple plan o.

She kicked off mad implementation.

Same day she did the Whatsapp messaging to the estate women, she got her first 2 customers.

One lady came for all-back weaving so she could wear her wigs, Chinasa convinced her to wash her hair ahead of the weaving, she paid 2k.

Another lady brought her daughter to make school hair, she paid 1500.

3500 made on day one. Chinasa was soo happy.

She asked the 2 customers for referrals and they both agreed to.

Next day, no customer. She just sat down and was Whatsapping more and more people in the estate who were responding to her.

Third day, a woman asked if she had attachments for braiding. She responded Yes. Lady booked to come by 1pm. Chinasa ran out and quickly bought the attachments.

1pm, the Aunty don show. Hair was braided. Bill was 8k.

Business don dey grow.

Chinasa was very honest with Ene. She kept a book where they wrote every job.

Ene was no more a househelp. She was now a business partner.

Let me just summarize this gist by saying that Chinasa’s 3 bedroom house now has a full blown plaiting and braiding salon in one of the rooms.

Ene had to bring in 2 of her sisters from Benue to join her.

It’s been 17 months now. 3 employees. Constant flow of customers. Our home salon is doing well. There is no day Chinasa doesn’t make at least 20k.

Their house rent is 1million Naira. Chinasa saves 100k monthly for rent.

Feeding and basic care is not an issue.

I promised her I would visit to teach her how to do Instagram and Facebook, so she can be taking pictures of hair and posting online to attract more and more customers.

Her husband is out of sad mode now. He started a small business where he helps people who seek loans from banks to package their required documentation. He has had 3 clients so far who paid 300k each. Things are looking up.

I am soooo proud of Chinasa.

She pulled that marriage and her husband out of poverty, out of sadness, out of depression.

I hope you learn something from this story.

When things go wrong, it’s time to think.
It’s not time to sink.

Think, not sink!

If you have a job or are receiving money through other means, you might want to set some aside and launch your business once you have a suitable buffer.

Start with a low-cost business model If you don’t have cash on hand, you need a business model that doesn’t need much money to get going.

Service businesses are usually far less expensive to start than product-based ones because your income is generated through your skills and time, rather than from tangible items that need to be purchased or produced.

Service businesses can include things like:

Tutoring and training

Graphic design


Digital marketing


Writing and editing


Calculate your business costs

If you’re considering starting a business without any capital, it’s essential to calculate your expected costs to create a savings target that will allow you enough funds to launch comfortably.

Start-up costs usually include:

Registration: Registering a new business with the Registrar of Companies carries a cost.

Marketing and branding: Regardless of how you choose to promote your business – be it digitally or traditionally – the creation of promotional materials will cost you some money. That said, tools like Canva allow you to create your own marketing material for free.

Assets: This is all your equipment and inventory (if you hope to sell products). It’s things like your computer, office supplies, and raw materials.

Costs: This includes costs required to run your business, such as salaries, office space, WIFI, etc.

Professional services: This may involve services you outsource, such as bookkeeping, patents, and business insurance.

Draw up a list of all the possible costs your business might incur for the launch itself, as well as outgoings for an average month. Be realistic – better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario than land up with unwanted debt.

Minimise your outgoings If you’re looking to start a business with no money, it’s critical to keep your costs to a minimum.

Here are simple tricks to do that:

Work from home: Not only do you save on office space, but you save on travel costs too.

Find cheap or free online services: There are plenty of free services online that can be used to reduce costs. For example, you can build a basic website with services such as WordPress or Wix and effectively market your business through the likes of Facebook or Instagram. You can also find people to do many tasks for you at a low rate through Fiverr and People Per Hour websites.

Plan for cash flow: The second most common cause of business failure is running out of money. If customers don’t pay their bills on time, you won’t be able to pay yourself or your staff (if you have any) either. Planning for cash flow is even more important when you’re starting without any capital. You might want to take on a part-time job to ensure you can still pay your rent and bills, to begin with. Or, if you already have a job, try to run the business during your evenings and weekends.

Learn how to start a business with no capital

Learning how to start a business with no money is your first step to being your own boss.

With planning and a bit of luck, being short of cash shouldn’t be a barrier to business success.


Hope you have learned one thing or another on this post titled HOW TO START A BUSINESS WITHOUT CAPITAL