Making profit and expanding in crayfish business 

Onyekachi Ona , a crayfish trader popular in the eastern part of the country says she started her small business with just N3,000, but has paid her off in so many ways as she smiles to the bank . ADEOLA AKINBOBOLA, writes. 

Starting a business and nurturing it to an enviable height is the greatest challenge of many entrepreneurs, with many businesses going under just after a few years of its establishment. 

Kachi popularly known by her customer is a trader at Utako market. She hails from Anambra state but came to Abuja in 2013 to seek greener pastures which she hasn’t regretted so far. 

According to her, starting the business was not a major challenge as she believes in hard work and plans to export smoked and well packaged fishes to all parts of the country.

While recounting to Business Starter, brimming with optimism, she said that laziness is not an option for her as she quickly established herself in Abuja.

Early beginning

According to Kachi, her early beginning will forever be fresh in her memory as she set out to add to humanity with her business at the earliest opportunity she got after her training in 2012.

The 36 year-old mother of 3 said in 2013, “I started my own business after being trained by my grandma. In fact, when the crayfish got to the table, I started thinking of the value I could add in order to stand out. 

“By way of doing something different from others, I decided to package the crayfish and after doing that, it was nice and appetizing. That was how the business started, with my being innovative and applying ideas different from others,” she said.


She said she will never rest until her crayfishes make their ways to different parts of the country even as she reveals plans to employ many people to ensure adequate reach with the right sponsorship from government, banks and private individuals.

“Being a new innovative business, I actually use my little savings to finance the business for now. However, I have plans for expansion. I plan to have distributors all over Nigeria. I seriously plan branches in different states. I have just one person under my employ at the moment.

“However, I plan to employ more people in the future, with my plan to expand the business as well as having distributors all over the country. I will definitely do well if I am sponsored. I’m looking for sponsorship from individuals, corporate entities, banks and governments.”

She said her crayfishes are very affordable. “Even our local market women can afford it to sell in our local markets. Also, I can supply quantities at short notice across the country or even export abroad. 

“However, for now, we give 3 to 4 working days to supply within Abuja from the demand date. As we grow, we look forward to supply in tonnes for I have had people calling from other states demanding in tonnes.”


Hygiene is a major concern to many people when considering patronage, but Obinna says that there is nothing to bother about as hygiene is the watchword and number one consideration at Onu Enterprises.

“Our Crayfish is prepared in a very clean environment. From the pond, we proceed to a processing basin, where we open the belly of the crayfishes to bring out the waste. 

“Thereafter, we proceed to the oven and then pack the fishes for supply. In all these processes, there is no sand or flies perching on the fishes at all. Everything is clean and geared towards the satisfaction of our customers.

“Even at this period of COVID-19 pandemic, we ensure that we maintain proper hand-washing hygiene and that the environment and equipment are clean at all times, in order to avoid infections of any type. You need to visit our small but well kept shop to understand the precautions we take,” she said.


Despite being a new business, Kachi said her major challenge is getting sponsorship for expansion, especially as many people with better resources have started stealing her innovative ideas.

“My challenges are many, bordering on sponsorship. I am packaging the fishes for now in branded packs, but buying the packs is not easy at all as they cost a lot. Also, I need sealing machine to perfect the products. Even buying smoking machine is in my budget, but it is all about the money.

“To be honest, I feel so bad. As I speak with you now, I know a lot of people making money from packaging fishes, which I introduced. In fact, many of them even call me to get information on how to go about the packaging. I’m sure most of them have gotten sponsors to take their businesses to the next level, so I hope to get sponsorship to implement most of my business ideas,” she said.


She appealed to different organisations to invest in his business; in order to recoup gains in the coming years.

She said: “My advice to organisations or individuals looking for businesses to sponsor is that they should look deep and see a business with great prospects and invest in it. 

“For instance, we have all it takes to break new grounds if we get sponsorship, who can invest in our company. 

“The quality of our products speak volumes of the corresponding cash flow in the event that individuals or even organisations accept to sponsor our company.

“If partners empower my fish business, surely, I’ll expand and achieve my dream of taking the fish business to a different level in seafood packaging. I will create more employment opportunities for our people as well as sponsor other young entrepreneurs. 

Starting a stock fish business 

Many of such dealers can be found at Onitsha Relief Market. There are assorted quantity of these fishes at Aba and other big markets across Nigeria, especially the southern part of the country.

Just visit any of the dealers and choose the particular type of stock fish you need. Before you make your choice, you should first do feasibility study, during which you will find out the type of stock fish that sells the most.

The Crayfish will be sold to you in sacks. They are packed depending on what is in high demand in your area. The form you chose can also determine how much you end up paying for the stock fish.

The business does not have to cost you an arm and a leg to start; you can start with as little as N20,000. By the time you finish reselling the stock fish, you can make double the amount you spent on purchasing it. This is especially possible if you sell them off in a city market.

The best place to sell your stock fish is at a busy spot in the city or a busy market. You can also ask for market days of some markets in your area since more people come to these markets on such days. This is the best way to maximize your profit. Do not forget to expand your business as you make more profit.