Zimbabwe is a country of what can best be described as paradoxes. Our economy is in dire straits yet at the very same some people are finding ways to make ends meet and a little bit more. We are a low-income economy by all measures but once in a while, you will see somebody makes a purchase that leaves you dumbfounded. In fact, there are whole categories of products that should not make sense to sell in Zimbabwe whether due to affordability or market saturation. However, these categories surprise as people seem to have a continuous appetite and pocket to match for these products. Zimbabweans can’t get enough of these business ideas and products that represent good business opportunities even if the market seems saturated.
I want to start with this one because it is was gave me the idea for this. It all happened when I read a long post by someone who was criticising a young woman he saw for working hard to buy and resell artificial hair instead of working hard in agriculture. While the industry has many critics, it is undoubtedly a very strong industry that rewards those who participate very handsomely. The industry is big and is growing. So if you have ever thought about a business in this industry and been discouraged by the saturation don’t be. There is plenty of room in the hair industry and that includes natural hair treatment as well.
While we are it we may as well touch on clothing. There is so much opportunity in clothing and Zimbabweans do not look like they are going to slow down in this regard. Of course, clothes are a necessity. The market has had a lot of changes with second-hand clothing and cheaper imports present in the market. However, you will see many businesses start in the clothing industry, both manufacturing and reselling, finding their own lucrative space in the market. This is definitely a good industry to enter.
Ready to eat food
The opportunities in this are plenty ad growing. Fast food was just fast food. Three important forces have emerged to push the ready to eat food industry forward. Firstly globalisation means international are catching on quickly and affecting the Zimbabwean market more and more. Secondly the coming of age of Millenials and their desire for “the soft life” and finally COVID-19 and lockdowns pushing people to think more widely about ready to eat food. These have all combined to bring a new era of wider opportunities.
Gadgets and electronics
This is all the more baffling because of the shortcomings of the support services and key access contributors to the success of these products such as the availability of electricity. Try to stand between Zimbabweans and the latest iPhone or Samsung and you’ve made yourself a lot of enemies. While there is a huge uptake in mobile phones, computers and connectivity gadgets there is still a lot of room for smart products. Things like cleaning robots, smart kettles, smart cookers and other such products present a lot of opportunities for the person willing to be serious about them in the Zimbabwean market.
Economic hardship has not made us lose who we are. While there are many questions about what the Zimbabwean identity is very few would argue with me when I say giving is a part of it. The spread of Zimbabweans across the country, continent and world means that people still feel a need to be there for people who they may not be close to. Any business which enables people who may not be close to others but still want to do something for them some kind of access or gifting method scores a big win in Zimbabwe.
Not even the lockdowns that have been instituted to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic could put a lid on alcohol. Zimbabweans love it. A lot. The opportunities in the resale of alcohol are tremendous and it is very hard to set a foot wrong in this industry. While there have been concerns about the authenticity of some products coming through on the market a smart setup that abides by the rules can set up a very lucrative business for now and the future.
You might think of shoes as fitting under clothes but you should do yourself a favour and separate the two. Zimbabweans love shoes. It doesn’t matter which end of the market you look at. People are succeeding with knock off shoes and people are succeeding with high end, high priced shoes. So it doesn’t matter which end of the market you choose to serve, Zimbabweans have a huge appetite for shoes.
Cosmetics cover a wide range of things including grooming and hygiene products. This is a market that seems to have no end in sight. It just keeps growing and growing. New products have entered the market but there seems to be room for more and more products and that is good news for anyone who has ever thought about entering the industry but may have hesitated due to the number of players present.
There are a few more industries with products like these. Ones it just seems like Zimbabweans will always have money for it no matter how hard things get.