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Types of businesses you can start in Zambia

Do you want to be your own boss? Are you looking to leave your daily job for something that feeds your passion? Starting a business in Zambia or anywhere for that matter can be daunting. So, don’t quit your job until your business is up and running. If you’re finding it hard to identify that unique ‘gap’ in the market, here are a few ideas to help you get started:

10 Business ideas you can start in Zambia

1. Import and export

This is one of the most lucrative ideas because Zambia imports most of its products. However, if you don’t have experience with importing and exporting, you could have a tough time implementing your idea. Start by learning the basics. Once you’re comfortable with your knowledge of the business, start teaching others what they need to know to get started. By doing this, you’ll probably gain you your first few clients. And, if you keep having small seminars, and you’ll expand your reach and develop a sufficient and ongoing customer base very quickly.

2. Catering

If you have the knack for cooking, this could be a good business for you. You could offer business lunches or party catering. To build a customer base, create relationships in your community. You could offer a free dish at church events and ask for client testimonials as a way to show potential new customers what you have done at past events. Also, you can make yourself available to cook at funerals and make sure everything you cook is memorable. And, while you’re at it, distribute fliers to whoever takes interest. The initial cost might be high because you’ll have to have samples of your cooking available for  future clients to taste.

3. Translator

Do you fluently speak another language? If you do, you can turn this valuable skill in to a business by offering your services to businesses and government offices.

4. Delivery service

This is a costly service to set up, so register your business and start with your car, in your city. If you enjoy exploring different places, then a courier business could be a good fit for you. Market your services to small businesses. You can target business people advertising on Facebook.

5. Event planning

One of the first things you need to do is visit every potential event location with which you plan to work. Work with the marketing manager to tour each site and learn what is available at each location. Start a database that will allow you to sort venues by varying features–the number of people each site holds, if there is AV equipment available on site, will you need to arrange for rental chairs, etc. Then when you are beginning to plan an event with a client, you can find out what the key parameters are for the event and easily pull up the three or four sites that meet the basic criteria. and engagement parties, etc.

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6. Flea market

People love to spend time going through tables full of other people’s unwanted items, looking for treasures. Make sure to change your layout and put new stuff out for sale often. You want people to come back time and again to see what’s new. You don’t even have to have that much new stuff to make things look new. Just moving an item from a table to the top of a bookshelf might get it noticed, even though the item has been in your inventory since you first started having sales.

7. Photography

Making money as a photographer can be done in a number of different ways. You can specialize in one area, the most common being weddings. There are niches you can explore for photography: portraits of people and their pets, families, and homes; photographs of holiday events, birthday parties or Christmas cards; the possibilities are endless.

8. Online content production

If you have a knack for grammar and love to write, content production for websites could be a cheap business startup for you. Cost to kick off this business includes a computer and an Internet connection. Market your skills on sites including, where potential employers look for contract workers.

9. Business plan service

Offer a great business plan, including market research, the business plan narrative and the financial statements. Plan your fee around the main one that the client will want and offer the others as add-on services. You can give clients an electronic file and allow them to take it from there, or you can keep the business plan on file and offer the service of tweaking it whenever necessary. Have business plan samples to show clients–and make sure to include your own!

10. Consultant

Maybe you’ve changed careers during your working life. Offer your skills to that former industry as a paid consultant. Since you worked in the industry, you already have contacts you could market to as being available for hire.

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64 thoughts on “Types of businesses you can start in Zambia

  1. Hi can u pls help with company registration process for starting an hardware shop in rufunsa district.
    I am currently in Cameroon working. But i was in rufunsa district 2017-2019. And have a plan to start a business over there. Is it will be helpful???

      1. hello Kevin?I am GEDEON here in Rwanda and i am junior engineer with required documents bu i need to shift my full Life in Zambia, may you tell me about life there?

        1. Am Jackson, I want to be a successful business man help me with the right tools, I have good communication skills and a very good customer service. What are the principles do I go for.

        2. Hello, am also an engineer in Auto mechanics, am based in zambia capital city Lusaka.
          I also have a registered company. Maybe we can partner.

      2. Dear mr Kevin. I am from India, My brother like to start import export business in Lusaka. So please let me know how would he make registration for stsrt import export business . How long it takes time to registration and expenses and the law what should be followed.. please mail me [email protected]. with best regards. R.sharma

      3. Hi Mr Kelvin I want to start hardware can kindly help with a plan or call me for more information on 0974899581

    1. hi am Jackson from Tanzania am the young investor in the construction industry and public speaker (motivational speaker on self employment and innovation ) will i be able conducting event for motivating youths on the investment and business in Zambia ?

    1. There are so many answers I can give to this question. So, let me start by asking what it is you have in mind. Do you want to start selling stationery online? Do you want to supply stationery to schools? Do you want to supply cartridges to companies? If you can give me an idea, I might be able to help.

      1. Am in to stationery and computer business and planning to start importing stationery items now I don’t have the right people to connect me .
        Is it possible to order online

    1. I already have a registered company that deals in electronics, I’m looking to enlarge my market and win contracts to supply to companies, small businesses and individuals, my contact number is +260970975379

    1. HI MR James i can assist you on the process on how you can visit zambia reach me on whats app +260977634582

  2. Hey,I have a registered company I sell TVs and other electronics but my company is almost bankruptcy and yet I have alot of customers here in zambia from every province of Zambia. Can there be anyone I can start helping selling and I just start getting my markup from there?

  3. Hi, I run a bookkeeping firm in Zambia. I have large experience in fmcg mainly fuel and Restaurants. If you need any help in company registration, bookkeeping or a local partner in my above areas of expertise please contact me on 0969375022 or email me on [email protected]

  4. I have been a school manager who effectively resucitated a school from collapse within 2 terms by applying modern effective,strategic school management approaches and tactics. If any school owner has a school with difficulties to grow, kindly contact me for unique efficient consultancy. Other educational services are available.
    Cell: +26 097 752 0376

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