Education is one of the definitive sectors for any nation. For many years Zimbabwe has been hailed for its quality of education and that has earned us global acclaim. Sadly over the past few years the sector has been ravaged by so many issues that have gravely compromised it. I could go on and on about how a curriculum overhaul is needed & how teaching staff needs to be adequately remunerated. There are a lot of gaps that need to be filled and they hold prospects for enterprising people to start businesses in that regard. Here are some business ideas one can work on:
It’s evident that many teachers are disgruntled due to the salaries they are getting. This has adversely affected their ability and drive to provide quality teaching in the formal school setup. A lot of teachers I know are now supplementing their income by offering tutoring services after-hours or during school holidays. Some actually make as much as 5 times their salary through tutoring. So there is a lot of money to be made through tutoring. This domain is quite malleable in that you can setup the business through various ways. It spans from primary to tertiary and you need not be a qualified teacher. I have several people who I know who are tutoring on subjects or areas that they are simply good at. Some make money through renting out rooms or premises for those engaged in tutoring. The market is huge because of the affordability and quality that characterises tutoring. When you are under tutorship you generally pay less yet getting way more value for money.
Early Childhood Development
This is a in-demand field and it’s evidenced by the surge of academic institutions now offering ECD courses. There has also been a steady spike in the number of people enrolling for such courses. The ECD industry is large and I’ll just use the UK example to enunciate some points. Just the nurseries cluster alone is an industry that rakes in over US$7 billion per year in the UK. Bright Visions runs over 1 000 nurseries globally. They have at least 24 000 children under their care in the UK alone; they even have corporate clients like Goldman Sachs & BP. So any serious person can setup such a business locally and grow to such levels. You can even incorporate the day-care centre aspect which doesn’t seem to have gained traction that much yet. You can also explore the corporate clients angle which can be hugely successful. Picture a scenario where you setup a day-care centre or pre-school exclusively for children of corporates – that can be big business. Lots of niches to focus on but the ECD domain is definitely a great business venture.
Computers are ubiquitous. Computer usage starts as early as 2 years old. By the standards of the time I grew up I’m considered a product of early exposure to computers. When I was just 12 years of age my uncle setup a computer literacy course for children my age and came to conduct the lessons at my school – he made quite a lot of money from that. The demand is even higher now and the possible niches you can target are so many. You can target schools – which is quite strategic due to the increased focus on STEM subjects and e-learning. You could even target corporates, peer groups, etc. With just doing computer literacy alone you can make huge profits but there is more. You can focus on software programming, graphic design; basically anything computer-related.
That’s another trending business as can be seen from the many such colleges that exist now. The idea is to lure qualified teachers by offering better packages. Setting up a private college isn’t even that complex; you need only ensure you go through proper registration as an institute. You can even operate as an affiliate for already established academic institutions. You can secure partnerships with reputable exam boards so that you offer in-demand curriculum. You don’t even need to build premises from scratch – most private colleges rent or renovate personal privately-owned buildings or houses.
Vocational Training Centres
The Zimbabwean life is now characterised by many people pursuing handywork income-generating projects. From things like fashion design, welding, mechanics, woodwork, animal husbandry etc – the areas of specialization are infinite. We have a lot of experienced experts in any one of those areas who can bring people under their tutelage. Setting up low-cost premises to offer training services using an apprenticeship approach can be a lucrative business initiative. Even the formal sector is crying foul on the lack of practical know-how of university graduates. You can be a step ahead by offering practical courses that are certifiable by formal boards. Even if you don’t want to pursue that channel you can work as an affiliate or simply offer teaching services.
The student population in Zimbabwe has grown exponentially and shall continue to do so. Assignments are now mainly required to be handed in printed form; projects, dissertations, and essays need to be printed. There is also a high demand for scanning, typing and photocopying services. This is definitely a business that can realize consistent & recurrent revenue as such services are required all year round.
I know a lot of people already making money by providing student accommodation. Most people are setting up houses that have more appealing features than traditional on-campus accommodation. The demand is overwhelming due to the fact that institutions are enrolling more students than they can accommodate. Thus this is undoubtedly another way of earning recurrent revenue.
The areas of opportunities are way more than I’ve covered in this article. What I’m confident of though is that these 7 hold proven prospects that have definite ROIs.