It takes money to make money. We’ve surely all heard this saying, usually said to explain that it’s hard to start businesses without money. I will not argue that it does take money to make money but will rather ask how much money? See it doesn’t always take a lot of money to make money. There are many businesses one can start that do not require a large outlay of money.

Multi-level marketing

Ok, so multi-level marketing (MLM) doesn’t get a lot of love and that is because there are many different expressions of the business model that exist. Many people have not had good experiences with it. However, MLM is a legitimate business model which benefits people working under it but not all MLM companies are created equal. You can sign up with good reputable MLM companies. The reason MLM companies make the list is that they do not demand much from you upfront. In turn, you will take orders from customers who pay a deposit and pay for the orders after customers have received and paid in full. That’s a sweet deal from an investment standpoint.


Runners are essentially people who facilitate shopping and delivery services. Many desirable products are not available in Zimbabwe or the price when available is questionable, to say the least. Runners bridge the gap by taking orders for products available in places like South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, the United Kingdom, Dubai and China. In most cases, runners will receive the money first and then purchase and fulfil delivery. It is customary for runners to charge a known percentage or service fee for their work which simplifies the arrangement and makes it favourable.


An agent facilitates business or transactions for others. Think of a real estate agent. They don’t invest in property but instead navigate the complicated arrangements of leasing or buying a property. They bring their skills and experience to the table and get paid for this. If you have a skill or some experience with a complicated process that people would willingly pay to avoid doing themself then you are halfway to starting your agency business. The other half is checking what regulations apply to the business area you would like to start your agency in and making sure you’re qualified to carry out this business. Aside from the aforementioned real estate agents are acknowledged standard businesses in many industries including accommodation, applications, travel, talent, media and many others.


This is one of if not the best low investment business ideas there is. It doesn’t take much, if you have a skill and a demonstrable ability to teach it then you’re in. I really would like to emphasise the demonstrable ability.  In teaching having achieved something is not nearly enough. Just because you were able to do something does not mean you’re good at teaching it. Your method may have worked for you but may not work for everyone. Also to win a teaching engagement you can demonstrate your ability to teach that wins you business, not just your ability to teach. Right with that said you could teach just about anything. There are so many different ways to teach now with what technology has brought to the fore. You could do in-person classes, online classes, mixed media, pre-recorded video classes and just about any combination of these you could come up with. Depending on the subject of course. You can teach a class on investing via audio but baking might be better done with video.


Consulting is another business that does not need much to get started, financially that is. Similar to teaching consulting ability is the result of experience. However, consultants aren’t in the business of doing things for people but rather deal in analysing and advising from a strategic and sometimes operational level. A consultant needs to not only be skilled in doing but also have a great analytical ability much like a teacher. Consulting is really about leveraging skills and experience so for most types of consulting a large investment is not required to get started. You can start a consulting business in just about anything but the important thing is to find an area where people are willing to pay for your help.