We are just under 4 months away from 2022 – it is crazy how time flies! Did you start that business or startup you said you would in 2021? If you have not you still can before the year ends. 2021 has been somewhat different from 2020 which was predominantly spent under lockdowns. Of course, the future hangs in the balance as it seems lockdowns might still occasionally pop up. Anyways, now is actually a good time to start planning for 2022. If you start now you get a head start as many have not even started thinking about 2022. Business-wise I thought it useful to share with your business ideas to consider for 2022 in Zimbabwe.

Online Shops

We have been seeing a steady rise in the number of online shops in Zimbabwe. This trend is going to continue for the long haul and now is the best time to step in. We are basically at the starting point so barriers to entry are still relatively low. 2022 is a good time to launch your online shop as more and more people will be buying things online. You can start an online shop to sell your own products and services. Alternatively, you can set up an online shop where you sell other brands’ products and services. A strategic consideration you must make is the diaspora market. Tap into that market by enabling them to be able to buy stuff for their loved ones here. Make sure your delivery framework is top-notch as that can distinguish you from other players.

Outsourcing Services

This is also another trend that is steadily rising in Zimbabwe. More and more people are appreciating the importance of outsourcing in business development. Things like customer relationship management, accounting, human resource management, digital marketing, copywriting, social media management, and so on, are examples. These and more are services you can offer to businesses and individuals looking to outsource them. This is already proving to be lucrative and from 2022 and beyond it can only get bigger.

Online Tutoring

This service remains highly sought after and will always be. Already there are so many disadvantaged students due to lockdowns that have been there since last year. There are so many students in dire need of tutoring services. This can be for purposes of catching up on the syllabi or for exam preparation. This service is needed all the way from primary school to tertiary levels. Online tutoring can be done with very limited resources; it is quite profitable if you deliver.

Management Consultancy

Management consultancy involves a consultant or a consultancy firm advising companies or businesses on effective strategies. These can be strategies for effectively managing or operating their enterprises. The needs differ from enterprise to enterprise but it can be strategy formulation, project management, and the like. I have had a fair share, and still do, of working on management consultancy gigs or projects. This is a huge business prospect that you can embark on in 2022 and beyond.

Vertical And Greenhouse Farming

Farming remains a central industry in all business endeavours. Given climate change issues it is now wise to focus on farming practices that are impervious to its effects. That is why I highly recommend vertical farming and greenhouse farming. Vertical farming is still fairly new in the world but it is the future. It involves crop production done wholly indoors without the use of soil and using small amounts of water. I have written about it in detail before – it is an interesting field you must explore if farming is your thing. Then there is greenhouse farming which many have taken up in the past couple of years. It offers you the opportunity to produce much on limited space, with guaranteed yields, all year round.

Food Processing

Farming is great as it is but many farmers just sell their raw produce. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the Africa Development Bank, once said, “The future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will not be coming from oil and gas sector, they will be coming from the agricultural sector. But I want African countries to be looking at agriculture as a business, not as a way of life. Nobody smokes gas, nobody drinks oil, but everybody eats food. So food is critical and that is what Africa has a comparative advantage in.” What he said is spot on and should be taken seriously. I do want to add that what he said will only be possible if people in agriculture focus more on value addition.

I once did an article where I used the example of cornflakes to illustrate the importance of value addition. Here was part of what I said, “…in Zimbabwe one tonne of maize would sell for approximately US$290. The cost of producing one tonne of maize is about US$150. (Mind you these are conservative figures; they are variable too). This implies a profit of US$140 per tonne – which is US$0.14 profit per kilogram (which is US$3.50 for 25 kilograms). Yet when you use those 25 kilograms to produce cornflakes you end up making a profit of roughly US$69…” There is more money to be made from food processing – focus on that more in 2022.

Crowdfunding Platforms

We are not yet taking crowdfunding seriously in Zimbabwe. Remember when Cyclone Idai hit and some challenges were moving some monies raised through GoFundMe. Imagine how easier it would be if we had our own Zimbabwean crowdfunding platforms. Even the so many cases where people seek to crowd-fund initiatives that I see they could be handled much smoother. Crowdfunding has become a common feature of this day and age. I challenge us to come up with such platforms for Zimbabwe. Imagine on those international platforms one cannot contribute ZWL$ or RTGS$. Yet here so many people could contribute if a platform that accepts such payments could be developed. Even people looking to raise funds for worthy causes, businesses, or startups could benefit from such homegrown platforms.

These are 7 of some of the business ideas that I think are worth considering for 2022. Now is the time to make your choice and start preparing for 2022. By the time we hit 2022, you could be way ahead and ready to take off.