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Best 10 Small Business Ideas in Tanzania 2021

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Are you thinking about starting a small business in Tanzania? Are you wondering what would be the best sector to begin your small business in? Or are you looking for money-making opportunities in Tanzania? That is not a problem. 

With a quick search online with an entry like ‘business opportunities in Tanzania pdf,’ you can find many results on what you seek.

Before that, please read further and find a comprehensive list of the best ten small business ideas in Tanzania 2021. And then, you can go ahead and find other materials to the knowledge you’ll acquire here. The more you know about the Tanzania market, the better.


The East African country Tanzania has an economy that is mostly dependent on its agricultural resource. Well known for being the home of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, and rich national parks, it isn’t a surprise that agriculture is a crucial contributor to the Tanzanian economy.

And so if you are interested in doing business in this sector, you are advised to go for it. If managed well, your business will be successful in no time because the industry is, according to reports, responsible for about 24.5 % contributions to the nation’s GDP.

You can pursue several industry opportunities in farming, processing, packaging, or distributing staple crops like rice, maize, wheat, sorghum, beans, cassava, millet, plantains, bananas, and potatoes. 

You could venture into the cultivation and harvesting of cash crops, coffee, tea, tobacco, cotton, oilseeds, spices, cashew nuts, sisal, pyrethrum, and cloves.

Aside from the fact that the country’s soil composition and climate are highly suitable for successful agribusiness, you’re most likely to get access to willing labor. 

In cultivating cash crops, you wouldn’t have to worry so much about selling your products because they already have a large international market. And so, if you intend to make your business very big and not just based in Tanzania, you should research the international market and find out which crop(s) amongst the above-mentioned you deem worthy of investing in.

Farm equipment dealer

Since about 80% of Tanzania’s locals reside in rural areas and primarily work in the agricultural sector, the demand for farm equipment in Tanzania is unending, and a business in that area could be a lucrative one.

You could be a supplier, a wholesale distributor, or a retail distributor for equipment used in irrigation, harvesting, livestock farming, seeding, and planting or poultry farming.

That means you may be dealing with tools like hoes, rakes, machetes, mattocks, farm tractors, pruning shears, harvest containers, hose systems, water pumps, soil cultivators, seed dibbers, seed storage containers, thermometers, burdizzos, trimming knives, feeders, and incubators amongst other very important farm tools.

You could deal in a piece of specific farming equipment or a set of tools that address a particular sector in Agric.

Sell pesticides and herbicides

Farmers all over the world can’t be successful without pesticides. Tanzanian farmers are not an exception.

Pest control is a much-needed activity in farming. Pesticides are used to manage or control all minds of pest and insect infestation and disease carriers.

They are also used to control weeds and safeguard crops from losses during the post-harvest season.

The lesser a farmer deals with pest infestation and weeds, the more produce they are likely to harvest and the more revenue derived from the business.

Herbicides significantly help farmers by slowing the growth or killing weeds.

If you want business ideas with small capital, this may not be the one for you; because it mostly requires a substantial starting capital.

You would also need a physical location for stocking and workers who would help load and deliver your respective clients’ orders. This is on the assumption; you intend to do it on a large scale.


The world is highly digitized, and a lot of business transactions now occur online. And so having an ecommerce business is not at all a bad idea. It probably was one of the hottest small business ideas in Tanzania 2020 and is still a very attractive business idea. You’ll know why as you read along.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ecommerce became higher in demand as movements were restricted both locally and internationally. People had to buy everything from clothes to food to medicine, etc., online.

This is apparently one of the hottest businesses in Tanzania today, and so clearly, there is a market for it.

And so venturing into dropshipping is definitely worth the shot. Dropshipping involves the fulfillment of orders that do not require stock keeping. All you do is present a product or products to your target audience, and when you get an order, you pass it on to a third-party supplier, who will then ship the order directly to the customer. This means you don’t directly handle the product.

You’ll need to make money available to set up the online store, buy an appealing and marketable domain name, and test products you intend to sell before you set off on this path. You’ll have to consider other expenses along the way, just as every other business also does.

Also, find a good and credible supplier, like AliExpress, etc., make a list of what you want to sell, aggressively market your brand and website on any marketing platform you can afford(but since social media is mostly free, you can start from there), and make the process of placing and receiving orders a seamless experience for your consumers.

Digital Marketing

Once ecommerce is on the rise, digital marketing is expected to follow suit. Why? Because ecommerce platforms rely heavily on marketing to attract potential consumers to their sites.

You’ll need to keep up with new trends and innovations in the digital marketing space, so you’re able to deliver up-to-date resources to your clients.

Almost all businesses that own a website today will seek the services of a digital marketing company. Because it helps to increase customer engagement and loyalty, target the appropriate audience, have an accurate assessment of consumer behavior based on purchase patterns, and ultimately improve brand visibility and credibility. 

You can either start your own digital marketing agency or do it on a freelance basis.  

You must, of course, have excellent knowledge about digital marketing before you start. You can learn more about it from credible sources online or take a training course on the subject.

You can gain expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media marketing,pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, webinar production, content marketing, or video production. 

A grocery store 

In your market research, you could identify locations in Tanzania that have few grocery shops or grocery shops with very few items.

On a daily basis, people visit the grocery shop to buy all kinds of things for work, school, household maintenance, child care, etc.

And so you start a grocery shop in Tanzania in a locality of your choice. Depending on your finances, you could present your shop as a one-stop-shop for all grocery items.

This mostly requires a considerable sum for a starting capital because you’re going to be making bulk purchases of products for retail. You’ll most likely buy fridges and freezers for storing food, meat, and drinks, as well as shelves for the uniform display of products, etc.

Make sure you have the money to do this. If not, there’re always other options to consider.

Wedding planning

All year long people are getting married. You may have a knack for wedding planning. If so, waste no time monetizing your skill! 

Having the skill, however, does not give you automatic access and control over the market. It helps with your brand image, but there’s more you need to address. 

Just like you may be considering it, other individuals are also eyeing the wedding planning market. 

And so you, of course, have to present your brand in a compelling way. That way, you have a chance of actually gaining ground in the market.

Please find out about the culture and demands of Tanzanians when it comes to wedding planning. Abreast yourself with all you need to know because you don’t want to leave a wrong impression on your customers.

The wedding industry can be a lucrative one if you make sound, informed, and strategic moves.

Meal service

People eat on a daily basis. That means foodservice businesses are always running. 

You can start small. In Africa, many prioritize good food over fancy environments. Although it has its perks, if you don’t have enough money to set up a fancy-looking restaurant just yet, don’t worry. You can still sell your food or pastries from home, thanks to digitization.

This means you will have to give extra attention to marketing and visibility since that’s one of the significant ways to foster brand awareness and acknowledgment.

Strategies like word of mouth marketing, door to door marketing, distribution of flyers, attending social functions and exhibitions, social media marketing are great tools you could use.

Find a niche, master it and deliver the best quality service in the market. If done correctly, you could expand pretty quickly.

Cleaning service 

The demand for janitorial services increases as more commercial and residential buildings go up.

And as many companies and government institutions outsource their cleaning needs, you may just have a chance at making it big with a business in cleaning.

With a few cleaning tools and equipment like shampoos and detergents, you should be able to render services to owners of these businesses and buildings at a fee.

You could work per hour, weekly, or monthly, depending on the extent of cleaning and size of the building.

You could start this alone. Do this right, and in a few years, you may be able to employ others and have a full cleaning service running.

Home Tutoring 

Especially at a time when parents are scared to have their children out and in school, the demand for home tutoring is on the rise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen various governments shut down schools, and although many are opened, children lost a lot of study time in 2020, and most parents are trying to help their children catch up.

Away from the pandemic, according to studies, children who have access to home tutoring have a high tendency of performing well academically than those who don’t.

There are parents who can afford to have home tutoring for their children and are willing to pay for it.

And so, if you have an academic qualification in a particular field or are an educationist, you can tap into home tutoring and make the most of it financially.

FAQ Questions 

What are the business opportunities in Tanzania?

There are business opportunities everywhere. You just need to look closely, and you’ll spot what works for you. But in Tanzania, sectors like energy, minerals, agriculture, aviation, real estate, construction, warehousing, telecom, and ICT are most sought after. There are so many business opportunities in the agriculture sector alone, like poultry farming, staple, and cash crop production, food processing, and packaging, etc. Sectors like energy, aviation, real estate, construction, warehousing, telecom, and ICT are also worth tapping into. Their top 5 export commodities are mainly made up of agric products.

Is Tanzania good for business?

Tanzania is generally good for business. They have a peaceful and democratic atmosphere devoid of chaos. They have a vibrant market system. Tanzania is viewed as one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. And so, to a considerable extent, it is good for business. However, just like every other sovereign state, you may encounter some restrictions if you’re a foreigner. So you may want to read their investment policies and make sure you have checked all the needed boxes before you proceed.

 Is Tanzania rich or poor?

Regarding per capita income, Tanzania is reported to be one of the world’s poorest economies. With an annual GDP per capita of USD 1,122 (2019), a 5.76% increase from $1,061, a 5.59% in 2018. This means although the economy may seem to be weary, Tanzanians are putting in efforts to change the narrative. And you can be a part of the transformation journey.

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