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Business opportunities in Zimbabwe that will make more millionaires in 2018

15 Sep 2018 at 06:41hrs | Views
The term "millionaire" is taking on a new meaning in Zimbabweans abroad.

It's no longer just about the size of your bank account; any shady politician, corrupt bureaucrat, or unscrupulous businessman on the continent can easily claim to be a millionaire.

But Zimbabwe's new and emerging generation of millionaires are not just excited about money. They are in diaspora and excited about going back to Zimbabwe. They're also passionate about impact; they want to create value that touches and improves people's lives. Zimbabwe is the only country they call theirs in the whole world.

It's called impact entrepreneurship. It's the new way of making money and doing good, at the same time. Zimbabweans abroad now sees the call by ED that Zimbabwe is open for business as a challenge and a chance for them to make a life changing impact.

It's a model that is proving that profit and ambition do not always have to come at another's expense. It is a God given opportunity and Zimbabw is a blessed nation.

Remember, the bulk of Zimbabwe's old school" millionaires made their money from resource extraction and sheer opportunism. Often, their wealth had to come at the expense of the common good and the natural environment. But diaspora invested in their own sweat.

But The  new wave of entrepreneurs are showing no keen interest in the continent's finite resources; its timber, gold, copper, oil and diamonds. Rather, they're far more interested in a much more valuable resource: problems.

Zimbabwe is overwhelmed by serious problems, from unemployment and illiteracy, to hunger and inadequate electricity. This the diaspora aims to fly into it head on.
this new generation of millionaires are focusing on the country's problems because solving these problems will unlock massive streams of wealth, jobs and prosperity for the nation.

Most of these problems are tough, widespread and decades old. But while they are scary and frustrating to most people, entrepreneurs see them for the breathtaking opportunities they really are.

Diaspora is now engaged in Crowdfarming.
Across the world, agriculture is big business and most farmers are financially well-off. But not yet in Zimbabwe.

According to the United Nations, Africa's agribusiness industry is expected to be worth $1 trillion by 2030.

And it makes perfect sense. The continent has a huge domestic market, owns 60 percent of the world's unused arable land, and has abundant labour resources, and a favourable climate in most parts.  Zimbabwe is however a potential bread basket of the Southern Africa.
A big part of the problem is, most of Zimbabwe's food is still produced by smallholder farmers in rural areas. They are largely poor people who use crude farming methods, and have very limited access to capital.

Diaspora now needs to put an end to this.
if all of us in the cities pool funds together, invest in these rural farmers, and take a share of the profits at harvest time. Zimbabwe will be a bread basket again.

that would significantly boost food production, cut down the food import bill, and make more money for both the investors and the farmers.

This business model is called "crowdfarming", and it's a trend that could totally transform the face of agribusiness in Africa.

In Somalia, Ari.Farm is an online marketplace and crowdfarming platform that enables investors from across the world to play in the Somali livestock market.

Zimbabweans have learnt from this platform to work for the best interest of the nation.
In South Africa, Livestock Wealth, helps investors to own pregnant cows, and track them through a mobile app. Once the calf reaches seven months, it is sold to a feedlot or slaughterhouse and the return for the beef goes to the investors. This can be achieved in Zimbabwe.

As Zimbabwe's GDP doubles over the next 4 years, the business opportunities in agribusiness space are very likely to produce a league of millionaires who made their money while pulling thousands of farmers out of poverty.
The Diaspora has decided to use waste to make money.  
For decades, waste has been a huge and nagging problem in urban areas.

Currently, most of the waste generated is either burned, buried or thrown away. As a result, more than 80 percent of solid waste produced ends up in landfills or gets dumped in water bodies.
And as the population continues to rise, the waste problem will only get worse.

So, what do we do with all the growing heaps of filthy waste before we find ourselves in the middle of the worst environmental crisis the world has ever known?

In South Africa, the solution appears to be to convert waste into animal feed.

AgriProtein is a business that grows maggots from waste collected from markets, households and businesses. The maggots are processed into a highly nutritious protein supplement that substitutes fish meal in animal feed. The company has raised up to $30 million in funding, making it one of the best-funded insect farming businesses to date.

In Ethiopia, the solution is to convert waste into electricity.

The Repi waste recycling factory in Addis Ababa will produce 50 megawatts of electricity from waste collected from across the city. The facility is expected to supply 3 million homes with electricity, and avoid the release of millions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Across the continent, entrepreneurs are hard at work trying to squeeze out value from waste, and in the process, they're creating an industry that could provide both low and high-level jobs for thousands of people.

From the trend of waste recycling and transformation initiatives I've observed, there's only one place this is heading to.

I predict that over the next decade, waste will become a valuable commodity that households and businesses can sell for money.  Said Martin Masanzu from Leeds UK. And the waste is likely to return to the food chain, to the electricity grid, or in some other recycled form. Added Matonsi from Luton.
Affordable housing
Africa is experiencing the world's highest rate of rural-to-urban migration. And by 2030, it is projected that up to 50 percent of the continent's population could be living in towns and cities. Zimbabwe is no exception. Son housing is a business venture the diaspora is eyeing.  

Urbanisation is great, but where will all these people live? And even if the governments tried, they cannot build homes fast enough to meet the teeming demand for accommodation.

In Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, the housing deficit is estimated at 20 million homes. In South Africa, the deficit stands at 2.3 million homes.

Africa's housing crisis opens a lot of interesting opportunities for several industries; from cement production and furniture making, to building contractors and mortgages.

It's no surprise Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, has expanded his presence in cement production across several countries on the continent. His interests in cement now make up a significant portion of his net worth.

But beyond conventional housing, there is an interesting trend of homes being built from cheap and durable alternatives, like shipping containers. Zimbabweans have taken this on board and promised to develop the country while they are enjoying the benefits.

As more migrate to the cities, the big urbanization wave has caused a surge in demand for transportation services.

Currently, there are just about 44 vehicles per 1,000 people in Africa. This is significantly below the global average of 180, and lower than the motorization rates of other developing regions like Latin America, Oceania and the Middle East.

Estimates suggest that vehicle sales on the continent could reach 10 million units per annum within the next 15 years.
Diaspora provides 80% of the cars. Car business is now a hit.
It's no surprise the big name automobile brands like Toyota, Volkswagen and Mercedes are already digging into the market by setting up assembly plants on the continent.

This rise in demand will create several interesting business opportunities in Zimbabwe and open supporting industries including dealerships, spare parts, auto-service shops, auto financing, and even ridesharing services.

The diaspora again targets Local products for export.
Zimbabwe spends billions of dollars on imports every year. This includes both food and non-food items.

But beyond the traditional commodities - crude oil, minerals, cocoa, coffee, timber etc. - what else of value can Zimbabwe actually export?

It happens there are a lot of local products on the soil that have the potential to become global brands. The problem is, we often overlook or look down on them.

But a few interesting entrepreneurs are now turning local products into global brands and best-sellers. This is like our own Matemba Maputi Matohwe and many home grown products.

Diaspora sees Zimbabwe as a stepping stone to wealth.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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