10 Smart Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs in Tanzania

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What problem does your business solve?

Let’s imagine that you’ve always wanted to open an ice cream shop. But if there are dozens of ice cream stores all over town, then is this really the best business idea for you? Well, if you are passionate about ice cream and have studied the market then maybe you can come up with an ice cream shop that solves a problem that all the other ice cream shops have failed to address. This could include, a lack of variety in flavours, high prices, or limited choice in toppings and cones. The point is, there is no original idea under the sun, but every successful business effectively solves a problem that no one else has tackled in the market.

So given this perspective, here are 10 business ideas that address problems in Tanzanian society and have the potential for success.

1. Customer service app

If you live in Tanzania, then you have surely complained about poor customer service more than once. Whether at a restaurant, retail store, or professional agency, Tanzania unfortunately suffers from a ‘bad customer service crisis’. So why not find a way to make businesses accountable to training their staff by creating an app where people can rate businesses in different industries based on the customer service they provide?

2. Skills sharing app and website

Many businesses and professionals in Tanzania struggle to find competent and skilled employees in short notice. So, someone could create an app where professionals can publicly post their resumes, portfolios and rates, and people can contact them for short-term gigs and freelance opportunities. Similar websites exist in countries like the U.S. and India, however, it would be beneficial to create one that is tailored to the needs of Tanzanian businesses.

3. Food truck

Instead of a stationary restaurant, why not have a food truck that moves around places where there are a lot of businesses and offers cheap and delicious meals at affordable prices during lunch hours?

4. Publication for expat community

Cities like Arusha and Dar es Salaam have always had a lot of expats, but there are few publications and websites dedicated to addressing their daily struggles and interests in their new homes. So, why not start a publication, in the expat community’s language that does just this. There are a couple of Chinese newsletters in Dar es Salaam that highlight Chinese businesses and services in Mandarin, and they seem to be doing pretty well.

5. 24-hour car repair service

The unfortunate thing about car breakdowns is that they can’t be scheduled to a time that’s convenient for you. They can literally happen at any time, and sometimes it’s difficult to find someone to help you (for instance if your vehicle breaks down at 2Am in the morning). So, imagine if people were able to call a car repair service or mechanic at any hour? Sounds like a recipe for success.

6. Local dating app

Almost everyone loves romance and as a result dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid are incredibly popular worldwide, so why not create one that meets the specific needs of people in Tanzania? It could include categories like ‘interested in marriage’ and ‘religious views’ among other localised ideals.

7. Community office space

There are more and more people with flexible work schedules or who are venturing out and launching their own businesses and working from coffee shops and restaurants during the day. As a result, there’s definitely a need in the market for office spaces that people can rent out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and provide a desk, internet service, printer, storage space, and even coffee. This gives people who work for themselves a sense of community while allowing them to maintain their flexible work lifestyle.

8. Affordable solar power company

If you have the capital and business expertise, then it is wise to invest in the solar energy industry in Tanzania. While there are a couple of companies effectively offering solar power solutions to Tanzanians, the industry is not saturated and still has room for new competitors. The trick would be to provide low cost and accessible solar power to Tanzanians of medium income.

9. Coupons website

It’s simple, create a website that posts deals and offers all in one place. You can even partner with some businesses to come up with deals that are exclusive to your website. This is good for businesses, as they may experience more foot traffic. Moreover, you can earn revenue by getting a percentage cut on each transaction (the coupons have to be bought on your site), and also by selling advertising space (banner ads) to businesses.

10. Affordable housing

While housing prices have started to go down, and it seems to be a bad time to invest in the housing prices. There is still a great demand for quality yet low-cost housing that the market has yet to fulfil. So once again, if you have some capital you are looking to invest, then building some low-cost housing may be the business venture you’ve been waiting for.

There is nothing new under the sun

As mentioned before, there a rarely any new ideas, instead, people just come up with better ways of doing things. So, whether you are passionate about ice cream, tech, or education, you have to make sure it fills a gap in the market and is relevant to the needs of Tanzanian consumers. However, if you really don’t have a particular venture in mind, then adapt one of these business ideas and thank us later.

Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.