Things to Pay Attention to, Before Starting an Online Business in Zimbabwe

Things to Pay Attention to, Before Starting an Online Business in Zimbabwe

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Setting up an online business has been proving to be a good idea globally. It has led to the rise of, Facebook Inc., YouTube, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba express etc. however, is it a good idea to establish one in Zimbabwe? Let’s unfold aspects to consider before you set the ball rolling.


Let’s consider the below challenges:

  • Cost of data beyond the reach of many
  • Zimbabweans haven’t fully adopted the digital culture
  • Zimbabweans are so obsessed with Facebook and WhatsApp to an extent that those platforms have become primary business platforms.
  • Space in our mobile phones has accommodated YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Music, Videos etc. can one afford deleting one app so as to accommodate yours?
  •  Facebook is continuously innovating with recent developments such as SME’s store overshadowing efforts by other start-ups to penetrate into E-Commerce
  • Dominant platform have cheap and customized data bundles, hence other platforms can always be considered as data consuming.


On a positive note, Zimbabweans have been embracing new apps and e-commerce platforms such as Malaicha, and Sasai.

From this, it’s important to note that your idea should be offering great value that your target population can’t resist. It’s also great to create value that no other dominant application or website is directly offering.


Internet users

8.4 million Internet users Dec 2019 that is approximately 56.5% of the population.

As at July 2020, these are the statistics of Zimbabweans who are active Social Media:

  • Pinterest 37.41%
  • Facebook 33.74%
  • YouTube 8.36%
  • Instagram 1.3%
  • Others 19.19%


In criticizing your idea, you can use the five hats concept.

The five hats concept

  • The White hat; describes the idea.
    • Yellow hat; describe how the idea will work, benefit and create value
    • Black hat; why the idea will not work, difficulties and challenges
    • Red hat; describe feelings, hunches and intuition towards the idea
    • Green hat; describe alternatives for the idea, new idea.

Read more on the five hats concept by clicking this link:

On every business idea, there is need to:

  • Describe
  • Discuss
  • Design
  • Challenge
  • Improve
  • Innovate
  • Invent
  • Pivot
  • Choose


You have to be careful in choosing the right revenue for your online business, here are some to consider

Ad-Based Revenue Model

Ad-based revenue models entail creating ads for a specific website, service, app, or other product, and placing them on strategic, high-traffic channels. If your company has a website or you have a web-based company, Google’s AdSense is one of the most common tools get ads. For most websites, AdSense will earn about $5-10 per 1,000 page views.

Affiliate Revenue Model

Another popular web-based revenue model is the affiliate revenue model, which works by promoting links to relevant products and collecting commission on the sales of those products, and can even work in conjunction with ads or separately.

Subscription Revenue Model

The subscription revenue model entails offering your customers a product or service that customers can pay for over a longer period of time, usually month to month, or even year to year.

Freemium Model

The freemium model is one in which a company’s basic services are free, yet users must pay for additional premium features, extensions, functions, etc. One of the biggest companies to use this model is LinkedIn, the most popular business/social media platform.

In conclusion, for you online business to be a success, the idea must have been critically analysed and have a clear revenue generating model.

About Post Author

Denzel Chimene

Denzel Chimene is an entrepreneur with interests in different industrial sectors and a metallurgy technician in making at the Zimbabwe School of Mines. He is also the Founding President of EntreVision Org, an entrepreneurial, innovation and talent empowering organization.
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