Starting a business in Zimbabwe: 2017 Predictions

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Before I talk about Starting a business in Zimbabwe in 2017, I have to put the excuses on the table right away. I had a surgical procedure in July of 2016 and I became inactive for the remainder of the year. I couldn’t cope with the demands of blogging. I had also enrolled for an Investment course which also couldn’t cope with. I was supposed to launch the ZimInvestors show but that too got delayed. My home became a pharmacy and at one time I remember taking in 15 pills in total per day.

… But look, let’s not pretend that I spend 24 hours in bed. I would go out frequently, took walks and at one point, I did an early morning jog which I latter on regretted. I have articles which I had researched on but they needed finalization. I was mostly concerned about my health; nothing else mattered. December 2016 was a milestone for me for it was the first month after that dreadful operation to spend without taking in any medication. From taking in 15 pills to just a clean glass of water was a miracle. I used the December holidays to re-structure the business so that in my absence it becomes a going concern. A few important things happened.

Firstly, I had to separate ZimInvestors from Niche Solutions Pvt Ltd, a company we founded years ago with friends. ZimInvestors had operated as a brand of Niche Solutions for a very long time and because the two brands were now growing in different directions, the separation had to happen and the two are no longer one. They have formally divorced and are leading different lives. The Irony is Niche Solutions was birthed out of ZimInvestors but ZimInvestors was operating as an offshoot of Niche Solutions. We corrected that in December.

We then appointed a diversified board to run with the new restructured ZimInvestors organization which has morphed from a blog to a full-fledged multi skilled entity to cope with 2017 predictions and beyond. We share with you some of the predictions as our Private Equity Analysts have predicted.

Solar Energy

We believe there will be an increase in the use of solar technology not only in Zimbabwe but in Africa. International trends point to breakthroughs in the industry that will see solar technology be ranked amongst the cheapest form of energy. We would like to put our followers on alert and to give them advance warnings to do research around this area as they try to find a home for their investments.

Organic food and farming

When I was in Mutare (whilst growing up), my mom would grow vegetables that would support the whole family on a small portion of her 300sq meter stand. I hated it but I remember how people from the neighborhood would come and buy from her. She never satisfied the market. Their reasons for buying were it was organic. She would put natural manure only. Examples include

· Mushroom farming (mostly white button)

· Tilapia fish farming (with proper market synergies)

· Horticulture eg baby marrow, pepper

· Quail for export markets

Mobile technology

Mobile technology is the best vehicle for growth of the SME market. I believe mobile will grow in these 3 main areas.

a) Mobile Applications which can be monetized directly or through ads and many other interesting areas.

b) Blogging and content marketing – With the right training, right product in a growing, this will take about 6 months to start realizing real returns.

c) Mobile Hardware – There is still room for growth in this area. For example, if a devise can be found which is inserted through the earphones jack and allows someone to swipe a bank card that could be revolutionary. The irony is such a devise is already in existence. Why the hell hasn’t it reached Zimbabwe?

d) Vlogging – two years ago I felt Zimbabwe still needed more than 10 years to have a proper Vlogging industry. In summary, Vlogging is video blogging. The decline in local traditional television broadcasting will see an increase in online TV channels. More so, the growth of online broadcasting media like Facebook and Periscope may become a catalyst. The moment we have a Facebook supporting a green screen will spell be a full blown war between the new and the old way of doing things.

Education

From the international investment universe, it’s hard to get an investor in education. There usually isn’t any business case in most African countries to Invest in education as the system still relies heavily on donor funds to be sustainable. Such is the education story of Africa. However, various niches still exists which can be exploited locally. If fused with mobile tech and the internet, the results can be alarming.

All of these and more are opportunities are available in detail in the ZimInvestors Files. Send an email to invest and request to talk to a consultant.

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