When we are dealing with the low risk we are simply referring to something unlikely to fail. So what then constitutes a low-risk business? This is a loaded question because there are several types of business risks. Some of the common types of business risk are economic, compliance, security, financial, reputation, operational, and competitive. Looking at the Zimbabwean context we have lots of risk factors at play. Given the ailing state of the economy, financial risk is a huge concern when looking to start a business.

How To Measure Level Of Risk

I am sure many of you would benefit from knowing how to ascertain whether or not a business is a low risk. I am not going to dwell much here, I probably will in a separate article. Anyways, certain ratios can be used to measure the level of risk. I will just highlight on debt to equity ratio. Often time entrepreneurs have to look for funding into order to start a business. Let us suppose that is your scenario – this ratio is the key.

So, on the one side, you have debt and on the other side, you have equity. Equity is or can be comprised of several categories e.g. your financial input, funds secured from investors or financiers, and equity in general. All those will constitute the equity that I mentioned. So what should the ratio be like if a business is a low risk? The ratio should be as low as possible – in essence, there should less debt and more capital muscle.


Anyone can be a consultant; do not think it is an elitist preserve. If you have significant, tried and tested knowledge and skills in a particular domain you can start a consultancy business. Are you an authority on a certain field? It could be motor mechanics, academic fields, business coach, farmer, and so on. If so, you make money from helping people in your specialist domain address challenges they face. The possibilities and niching approaches are infinite. With just word of mouth, at the very least you can start getting clients. Initial capital requirements are near zero so it is a good fit if you are risk-averse.


Again this is about you being an authority on a particular subject. Especially in the academic sphere, there are plenty of opportunities. It does span further than just academics though. It can be any other area where there is a prospective market of people who would pay to be taught. Thus it can be in farming, small scale manufacturing, and so on. If you offer to tutor you can make good money. Chances are usually high that what you need to tutor you will already have. This makes initial costs and even operating costs relatively low.

Plant Nursery

Zimbabweans are big on farming, even much more nowadays. It ranges from small scale to medium and even large scale – especially vegetables. I am referring to highly sought after crop such as covo, cabbage, onions, rape, spinach, tomatoes, you name it. Due to how active vegetable farming is you can make money from providing seedlings. Taking care of plant nurseries is not capital-intensive and is also not labour inexpensive. You can even diversify into actual crop production so this is good business to venture into.

Vegetable Farming

I already hinted on this just some moment ago. You can never go wrong with vegetable farming especially if you have done your market research. Vegetables are always sought after by a highly segmented by inexhaustible market. The market segments span from individuals to wholesalers, retailers, and an infinite number of miscellaneous types of clients. There might be some substantial capital requirements if you want to do it on a big scale. However, a sure market and the ever-present demand can significant guarantee your returns.

General Buying And Selling

This is yet another loaded domain. Is there something that people are always looking for? Is the market that big and active? Can you cost-effectively source and make it available to that market? Can you do that with a supply and value chain that is low cost? If the answer to each of these questions is yes then start buying and selling. It is as simple as that and it does not matter what the product is – just as long as it is legal.

Selling Cooked Or Baked Foods

People in Zimbabwe are enterprising; there is no doubt about that. The hustle and bustle witnessed in any populated location in the country is testament to that. All those people, at some point(s) during any typical day, will look for something to eat. You can start a low-risk business in this regard. For instance, there is a lot of gold mining happening in the country. I have noticed there are people making money by going to sell cooked or baked foods there. That is just one niche but the possibilities are quite broad and varied.

Delivery Services

Do not think I am referring to high-end delivery services here. I am dealing with and premising this on something common nowadays. Let me cite some scenarios so that you get the picture. Someone buys a load of groceries from a wholesaler for their small tuck shop. Someone buys some stuff from a hardware outlet and they need them delivered to their home. Someone drives to town daily, and several people request them to buy some things for them from town. These are some of the numerous scenarios that make you realize there is money to be made from doing deliveries like that.

These are 7 of some of the low-risk business ideas for Zimbabwe. The list is nowhere near exhaustive but I am sure you can be inspired to start one of them. Even better you can be inspired to think of more ideas.