How to Start a Thriving Tutorial Center

Are you passionate about education? Do you want to carve out a niche for yourself in the education world? Desire to become an employer of labour ? Do you have an inner craving to add value to students while making at a profit?

If your response is in the affirmative, then this edition of “how to start” is for you.

Amidst the growing unemployment imbroglio in Nigeria and in other parts of the world especially African countries lies great opportunities. There is an ever growing prestige and pride that many young Nigerians and Africans attach with being called undergraduates; and ultimately, in serving their father land.

To say the least, a good number of Nigerian youngsters want to be a university graduate in order to get a white collar job.  But truth be told, you can’t secure a good one if you don’t have at least a university degree or a Higher National Diploma from a recognized polytechnic in Nigeria and in some cases with vast years of experience.

The examination body responsible for testing students ability to cope in a university or Polytechnic in Nigeria is the Joint Admission and Matriculation board (JAMB) and also the West African examinations Council (WAEC) with her counterpart, National Examination Council (NECO).

A minimum of  1.7 million Nigerians who take the JAMB/UTME examination annually lack sufficient experience or knowledge on how to prepare for these examinations. An experienced tutor/instructor who understands how the process works from time of registration till admissions and eventual matriculation stands to gain a lot especially in the big towns and cities all over Nigeria.


 In some cases prospective JAMB candidates (JAMBITES) pay as much as N5000 per month to prepare for 4 subjects; If you had 40 students in your tutorial center per month, that would result into an aggregate of N200,000 to say the least.

They say that an idea always sounds good until it is tested; this may also be applicable here. Every project has its hurdle.

There are many likely challenges to be confronted with


Getting a suitable location as many students tend to judge a preparatory center by its location. A good location may not be easily accessible.

Lecturing students under a tree or behind someone’s house makes you look like a quick buck. It will seriously dent your brand perception.

Rather than using that, Hire a shop space in a busy neighborhood but void of disturbance, A space very close to a university/polytechnic area or a  location where secondary schools are in abundance. This is a marketing strategy that will put you in close range with the students.


Also you’ll have to deal with examination touts and mercenaries as some of them might want to poach your students into patronizing them. It’s common these days to have people waiting for already answered questions sent to their phones in the exam halls.

This may taint your image if not curbed.

#Branding and Business Strategy

There are several strategies you can adopt to make money for yourself apart from the registration and tuition fees. You can sell handouts that will help the students, JAMB scratch cards and key points for your students to study at leisure.

Another strategy is having morning and evening classes and charging separately.

For Example; Morning classes could start by 9 am and end by noon Mondays to Fridays and 10 am till noon on Saturdays while evening classes could run from 4 pm till 7 pm Mondays to Fridays and 4 pm till 6 pm on Saturdays or better still, give Saturdays off for evening classes depending on your capacity.

With this method, Other students who are not usually chanced in the morning will be in the evening.

#Other Requirements

You’ll need to have subject teachers who are good in each aspects; the sciences, arts and the social sciences

For instance, a teacher can specialize in mathematics and physics, another teacher may take biology and chemistry, another might take CRS and literature and English.

You pay your teachers per class taught like say N500 per class with each class lasting for 1 hour.

Hypothetical Start-Up Capital for a Nigerian Tutorial Center

Rent – N60,000

Stationery (Marker board, pens, textbooks etc) – N50,000

Furnitures (10 benches and desks) – N80,000

Generator set – N20,000

Others – N20,000

Total – N230,000


NB: There might be variations depending on the environment, state of the economy etc

Generally, there are cheap labor in Nigeria labor Market. This will also be an edge for a start up business to garner more profit.

There are many graduates of colleges of Education, or university undergraduates who are unemployed and many of them would be glad to teach for a token.

It must be pointed out that the business is not for everyone as you need to have a burning passion for teaching, passion to see students passing their examinations and an eye to hire good teachers.

On the long run, it’s your branding that will sell your business for you as you position it strategically in the mind of students.

To be continued.

By Elijah Ezekiel Olabanji.

Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

4 thoughts on “How to Start a Thriving Tutorial Center

  1. this is beautiful and very helpful. I really appreciate the write-up. I am about to start my tutorial centre and need all d help I can get before starting. thank u so much. I will love it if u can still help me with more practical tips. thanks


  2. This is inspiring and indeed a must read article for individuals who have huge passion in giving back to society: an excellent education which he/she has acquired in school.


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