I love dealing with topics like these because I get to share exciting business prospects with you. Some of you might wonder what the definitive period for the “future” is. Well, I like to put it this way – ‘the future is now’. In essence, I want to talk about business ideas that are either already budding or are set to be a huge deal going forward. I will take the liberty to at least put down a specific time frame. The future I am dealing with here spans from now to at most 10 years from now.

Data Science Services  

Last Sunday after church I went for a drive with my pastor, Pastor John Marumbwa. We got to talking about the importance of collecting and analysing data. He particularly mentioned about content analysis as something that is quite needed nowadays. He gave an example of how content analysis can be used to draw insights on various metrics regarding human behaviour on social media. You know, like how you can do content analysis to understand say, consumer behaviour in a particular industry. Imagine the money you can make from doing that to come up with invaluable data that you can sell to businesses.

As we discussed all this I could not help but muse on the fact that there are tremendous business prospects in this domain. When you look at global titans such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon – their anchor is on using data sciences to their advantage. If you come up with a business that does what is termed data crunching you are set to make money. Think of what entities like Cambridge Analytica do. In Zimbabwe, there is money waiting to be unlocked by those who will start businesses in the field of data sciences.

Imagine the application of such services in social media consultancy. Social media consultancy is another business idea for the future. I will not dwell much on it but I am sure you get the idea. It is closely linked to data sciences and that is why I chose to just mention it here. Surveys have repeatedly shown that businesses the world over are now heavily invested in the use of social media for their businesses. Here in Zimbabwe, the appreciation is there but very few businesses know how to strategically use social media for business. Business in that regard i.e. doing social media consultancy is a business idea for the future. Yet another closely related business idea for the future here is digital marketing services.

Vertical Farming

I have delved into this before especially because I am fascinated by it. Vertical farming is a tech-based kind of farming where crops are grown in enclosed environments that are regulated by sophisticated innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI). Often this type of farming does not employ the use of soil but rather crops are grown in nutrient-enhanced water. Due to climate change, growing crops depending on natural conditions are no longer as effective. That is why an approach to farming that eliminates the dependence on natural weather and of course the soil in the future. This would mean you can grow anything and at any time and with guaranteed bumper harvests. I have even seen that crops grown using vertical farming are of superior quality and fetch high market prices. Vertical farming is still an emerging industry globally and still to be practised here in Zimbabwe. I urge prospective entrepreneurs to consider looking into this business idea.

Shared Economy Businesses

Most of you know about Airbnb and Uber. Their business model is quite fascinating and points to lucrative business ideas for the future. The concept is simple as can be seen from those two businesses – they do not own that which they offer as a service. For instance, Uber owns no taxis but they offer ride-hailing services. Shared economy businesses are a big deal in China. What I have realized is that virtually anything can be used as a basis for shared economy businesses. Funny examples in China include charging ports and bicycles. The rise in popularity of the shared economy surely makes such businesses business ideas for the future. All you need to do is to research and see which products or services people would not mind sharing and paying for.

Web And Mobile App Development

This goes without saying but it is a lucrative business idea for the future. Everyone aware of the internet knows how important it is for one to be there. As much as most rural folks are still not yet in the fold, I see that gradually changing in the next few years. As that happens, more and more activity will pop up on the internet. Businesses and individuals alike are increasingly looking to have websites. Offering services where you design and develop websites is a great business idea for the now and coming years. This is also the same for mobile apps (plus software in general). The design and development of such is big business for the future.

The business ideas I have discussed are all heavily dependent on technology. Thus you cannot talk about business ideas for the future without talking about technology. The beauty of these businesses is that they can be started even from right now. They are all in domains where such products or services are sought after. There is also outsourcing services – another business idea for the future. There has been a steady rise in businesses outsourcing most of their services e.g. accounting, IT, and so on. Providing such services for businesses that want to outsource is big deal going forward.