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This year, Nigeria’s economy was hit by multiple threats. The COVID-19 pandemic crept up our shores and spread throughout the country, grinding commerce to a halt. Falling oil prices shrank the country’s FOREX receipts, causing the naira to weaken against the dollar. And later in the year, civil action disrupted business activities in some of Nigeria’s major cities.
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But business has gone on despite this. Though greatly challenged, many small and medium scale enterprises have carried on their operations, serving customers the best they can. Not a few have come through stronger. This article celebrates some of the leading SMEs from the year 2020.

Carmart Nigeria - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding
This is an online used car shop that allows Nigerians to buy and sell cars over the internet. The paucity of sites serving this purpose in the country has made Carmart a favoured destination for persons seeking to trade fairly used automobiles. It was founded by Ikwu Johnjude in 2019.

JD Recycling

Nigeria has a problem with abandoned tires; they’re often not properly disposed of, so they add to the country’s already difficult relationship with waste management. JD Recycling is working to solve this problem by turning these tires into furniture, interior décor, and playground items.


Entry #347 by anibaf11 for Design a Logo for | Freelancer
Gigalayer is one of Nigeria’s fastest-growing web hosting companies. Launched in 2014, it’s become a pan-African tech firm, thanks to its acquisition of several rival companies over the years.

The Grand Cobbler

The Grand Cobbler Logo 1 – The Grand Cobbler
The Grand Cobbler
There aren’t many professional shoe repair brands on this side of the world. The Grand Cobbler is among the more outstanding players in this niche. They offer polishing, cleaning, and restorative services covering a variety of leather and suede goods.

Nuli Foods

Nuli Juice Company Shares Harrowing Experience As Policemen Demolished Their New Store - Gistmania
Ada Osakwe founded the Nuli Juice Company in 2015 to plug some of the gap opened up by the relative absence of local natural fruit juice producers in Nigeria. Since then, the company has expanded into other food categories, and now serves customers with meals prepared from locally grown ingredients.
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Beddings ‘n’ Beyond

No photo description available. Beddings ‘n’ Beyond is an interior design firm based in Lagos. They provide beddings, home accessories, and furnishing to private homes, corporates, and the hospitality industry. Ogochukwu Agu, the founder and creative director of the company, says she launched the company in 2009 to make quality, affordable and stylish décor available to people regardless of who they are.

CleanAce Drycleaners

CleanAce Lekki Waters Mega Store opening Promo - YouTube
Demola Tootek Segbeji – Youtube
CleanAce prides itself on being an ISO-certified drycleaning service– a rarity on the African continent. They take on the need of private and corporate clients for clean clothing on a scale that’s barely matched by other dry cleaners. CleanAce also delivers tailor repairs, home and office cleaning, and cobbler services.

Sapient Vendors

For over a decade, Sapient Vendors has executed numerous civil engineering, design, and building projects around Nigeria. In recent times, they have gained considerable traction from within and beyond the construction industry. In 2019 they were named among the Top 100 Emerging SMEs in Nigeria.

Taos Cosmetics

BN Beauty: TAOS Cosmetics Unveils New Identity with these Fierce 'Wild Thing' Photos | BellaNaija
Bella Naija
Taos makes and distributes a wide range of cosmetic products: brow tints, mascara, eye shadow palettes, bronze illuminators, lip stains, and beauty sponges. From its small beginnings in 2014, this brand has climbed up the ranks to become one of Nigeria’s top suppliers of cosmetics.

Anya Wu

Anya Wu is a fashion company that provides top-tier formal wear and casuals for women. Besides its product offerings, it’s also involved in charity. For each black dress purchased from Anya Wu, there’s a school uniform donated to a less-privileged child.   Featured Image Source: Lost In Lagos
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This article was first published on 22nd December 2020


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.

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