It is the goal of many people to build passive income streams. One of the famous quotes in this regard is from Warren Buffet. He once said, “If you do not find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die”. Another common quote is from T Harv Eker, “You become financially free when your passive income exceeds your expenses”. These are some of the many remarks that underscore the importance of passive income. Over 65 percent of people earning more than US$1 million have at least 3 income streams. Upon closer inspection, you will realize most of it is passive income. Here are some passive income business ideas you can consider this year:

Property Rentals

This is quite straightforward. You just have to own a property that you then rent out. You can purchase one outright. You could actually build one from scratch. Alternatively, you can renovate or convert one for renting purposes. It is also possible to rent and then sublet; depending on the circumstances. The bottom line is that you can make easy money by renting out a property or properties. There are 3 broad clusters you can niche on namely, residential, commercial, and industrial.

There is always demand property rentals, especially here in Zimbabwe. Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American Industrialist once said, “90 percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined. The wise young man or wage earner of today invests his money in real estate”. That goes to show you how lucrative property rentals can be since it is real estate.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Still, on the real estate front, let us look at Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). A Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) is a company that owns or finances income-producing real estate and distributes the income as dividends to shareholders and investors. This means this is actually a more passive approach to the property rentals we discussed earlier. To simplify how REITs work: Investors invest their money, and then the REIT pools the investors’ money to either buy or manage real estate properties. Then the REIT is the one that owns and operates those properties. The income generated is proportionally paid out to the investors and shareholders. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed its first REIT in November 2022. It is called Tigere Property Fund; you can check it out here.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is defined as an advertising model in which a company or business compensates third-party partners for promoting products and services and generating business. This means you come in as the third-party partner and make money from that. There are many approaches to affiliate marketing. For instance, you can place an affiliate link on your website. The affiliate links will be to products or services sold by someone else. A prospect then clicks on the link and makes a purchase. You receive a commission which is usually a percentage of the sale value. There are a number of common eCommerce platforms that have affiliate marketing programs you can join. Examples of such are Amazon, eBay, and Shopify, amongst many others.

Selling Products Or Services Online

You can make passive income selling stuff online. You can do this on your website (or web app) or you can use other online platforms. One of the most passive options is selling downloadable digital products. Examples are e-books, specialized reports, and online courses, amongst others. You can simply research and write up e-books or online courses on relevant and sought-after topics. For example, you can write an e-book on digital marketing. You can then upload it on Amazon or your website and make it possible for people to buy it online.

Kindly check out the article how to make money publishing e-books on Amazon Kindle. Recently we published an article on 3 local Zimbabwean online payment gateways you should know. I highlighted that they not only bring convenience to consumers but also streamline eCommerce. Online payment gateways tailored for the Zimbabwean context have largely been the missing link in Zimbabwean eCommerce. It is also refreshing to see that these online payments also tap into the diaspora domain. Now more than ever before it is easier to sell anything online in Zimbabwe.

Peer To Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending refers to the direct issuance of loans to individuals from other individuals. Understandably the level of risk involved here is quite high. The repayment period is often in the short term too. That is why the interests are often high. In Zimbabwe, you will find interest in peer-to-peer lending ranging from 30 percent per month going up. This varies greatly though from context to context. It is also the reason why collateral arrangements are typically involved. The demand for peer-to-peer lending keeps surging. This is because many people are in search of capital for various reasons and they cannot easily access it from financial institutions. Several people are making good money from this relatively easy business venture.

You can also check out automated passive income business ideas for Zimbabwe. In closing, let me highlight something important. I have touched on the subject of passive income before. We established that in essence there is no such thing as passive income per se. The term ‘passive’ is indicative of the income being income one gets with limited active participation. Otherwise, passive income is not purely passive; it is important to appreciate that bit. There will be an element of your active participation to some degree. Regardless it will be great to make money that way and the areas we discussed are some good examples.