When it comes to investing in Zimbabwe, there’s a simple truth that successful entrepreneurs have learned and smart investors will agree with
“By the time the opportunity is obvious, it’s no longer an opportunity”
You know what that means right?
For Zimbabwe it means that all those waiting for perfect political, economic or social conditions before they invest, will almost certainly be late for the party, maybe even too late.
Greg Lebedev, an expert investment banker based in America said this at a Business Conference in Harare Zimbabwe, late last year
“Zimbabwe presents massive investment opportunities and the Americans are “late for the party” as some developed economies are already investing in the country.”
Sadly this is also true for many Zimbabweans in the diaspora. Sure there are risks involved in investing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest or start a business, it means you manage the risk. And you do that by ensuring that every risk factor that IS under your control, is controlled.
Managing your investment risk in Zimbabwe will probably mean getting some education (or developing some new relationships with people who already have the right education and can be trusted).
To be clear, i don’t mean academic education – i mean getting some street smarts. Street smarts means you know more than just what the books say about how things are supposed to work. Street smarts is the kind of knowledge that’s gained when you’re in the mix, not from reading a book. Zimbabwe has for a long time proved that that book knowledge alone won’t get you very far.
This means learning about what actually works and the how and who behind it – especially if you’re a foreigner or haven’t been in the country for a while. So think twice before you partner with someone just because they’re you’re friend or because they look good on paper.
In the end though, i think it’s all going to come down to the boldness to act and the smarts to manage your risks – waiting/procrastination is (almost) always a formula for failure.
Call me an optimist but i believe Zimbabwe will become a great nation faster and more suddenly than most people think – and that’s when it will be an obvious opportunity, but it maybe too late for you by then.
Start slow if you have to, but start. When it comes to opportunities in Zimbabwe, the biggest rewards will be in the hands of those who were too smart to be late and too ‘stupid’ to be timid about it.
What do you think? Leave a comment.