In spite of the state of the economy, there are always opportunities to grow. Good business is seeing those opportunities to profit in a crisis and taking them. So while we may moan about the general direction things are taking let’s also look at the opportunities created or not affected by the turmoil.
Despite being battered here and there by price and currency concerns gold still represents one of the big growth industries for Zimbabwe. The openness to artisanal miners makes entry into gold possible for the majority. The mineral remains important and the foreign currency earnings, though only 55% make it very attractive. Fidelity printers recently announced further incentives for gold producers with bonus payments so that may spur growth further in the sector.
Web development and hosting
The future is digital and definitely online. Traditional business models have to find their way online. Even businesses rooted in the old way like real estate agents are now employing video call technology to show houses to potential clients. Closer to home the ZSE has created an online platform for fund managers and institutional investors to trade in shares bypassing brokers. All this should be a sign that more and more businesses will need to be online. Web development and hosting play an integral part in this so businesses in these areas offering the right services are set for growth.
The current economic turmoil means opportunities for some businesses, microfinance is one such business. In an economy that works reasonably well microfinance is, of course, a necessity as they provide alternative financing methods for small to medium businesses. In times of trouble such as ours, the opportunity only grows because businesses are operating in dire times and their needs are more pronounced. Facilities such as debt factoring and order finance become paramount.
Zimbabwe is open for business, perhaps. One thing is certain, Zimbabweans are turning to business. As a way to grapple with economic conditions, high unemployment and poor remuneration for the small minority with jobs Zimbabweans are starting small, micro and what I like to call nano businesses left, right and centre. Some of these businesses have a real chance to grow and that’s where your business expertise comes in. Guiding these businesses from the current position to the next step is a lucrative market.
In spite of duty effectively being hiked by the current monetary Policy there is still a demand for these services. In fact, the barriers that have been created by the duty hike may only increase the demand. So this business seems to have a long way to go before it is snuffed out.
Accounting and bookkeeping
As I mentioned Zimbabweans are turning to business and those businesses require professional business services. Well, there are some cases where technology can help with record keeping accounting still needs to be done by people with specific knowledge of Zimbabwean laws and regulation. The same can be said for tax.
Fast food and snacks
We’ve covered some ideas in both fast food and snacks before on this website. The opportunities in both these areas continue to grow and you may as well include speciality foods there. The internet and growth in delivery services mean that tail-ending is more accessible to businesses than ever. Tail-ending is the ability of a medium like the internet to connect people who have a particular interest, regardless of how small the group is. It makes reaching critical mass for sustainability much easier.
Taxi and transport
You cannot easily eliminate people’s need to move around. More people more movement, it’s that simple. Dogged with fuel shortages and transportation costs there’s great opportunity brewing in the transport industry. While the government has brought in buses for perpetually troubled public transporter ZUPCO, it’s the upper end of the market that has an opportunity with ride-hailing services such as Hwindi and Vaya Africa taking root. There’s still definitely room for more.