Zimbabwe ranked one of the worst places in Africa to start & run a business

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If you’re finding Zimbabwe a very tough place to be a startup, you can take comfort in the fact that maybe it’s not you. You just happen to be trying in a very very hard place to start and run a business!

We’re not big fans of lists and rankings but we couldn’t ignore this study by Microsoft and a South African research firm called Thinkroom that ranked Zimbabwe the worst place for an entrepreneur to start and operate a business. Zimbabwe was worst out of 12 that were part of the research.

The best 3 countries to start and conduct business are: Mauritius, South Africa and Botswana in that order, and the bottom 5 is comprised of Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.

As for how this was decided, you can download and read the full report here, but here’s a summary of what was considered:

  • The Macro Environment
  • The Small Business  Environment
  • Internet and Mobile Capacity
  • Infrastructure and Logistics



And the detail of the scores of the individuals countries. We take just Zimbabwe (the worst) and Mauritius (the best).

First, Zimbabwe:



And Mauritius:



Does this ranking relate well to your experience on the ground?


  1. Proud Zimbo But... says:

    An info graphic is worth a thousand words, or in our case three: We are screwed!

  2. shameful says:

    Forget comparing to Mauritius we 5% behind Ethiopia! Truly a sad state of affairs.

  3. Makaza says:

    Its too late for Zimbabwe to recover from this.

  4. macd chip says:

    We Zimbabweans have created the environment which we find ourselves in. And its only us who can bring ourselves out of it. We deserve every worse ranking out there!

    We are number one cry babies, attention seekers and want everyone to feel sorry for us so that we can extract some free cash from their generosity!

    If laziness was ranked, we will be in stratosphere heights

    1. Emmanuel says:

      Guess you haven’t been to many African countries.

  5. Dee says:

    I though Zimbabwe’s Internet penetration rate was much higher than this. And @Makaza, its never too late for Zim to recover. I personally believe Zim’s international negative publicity has really affected us more than anything else.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I tried to register a company in Zim and it took 90 days.

    1. Justin says:

      Just from the Company registering office. Pay 150 more and get your company in 3 days! That’s efficiency at its best. We are Number 1 @ being corruptly efficient

      1. Tapiwa ✔ says:

        Wasn’t that a pre-registered company (aka shelf company). If you had to choose from a list of generic, nonsensical names that was most likely the case. Thats why we have companies with names like Gledmas (Pvt) ltd, Delmags Ltd, Sledgam, Ledgams,… – you get the drift.

        1. Justin says:

          No. Pay 300 (150 for bribe) and get a new company with a name of your choice in 3 days

  7. shatirwai says:

    Instead of just weeping about our situation everyday why cant we proffer solutions to solve this mess. Its quite sad that we always resign to our plight. Who has done a petition to the registrar of companies or minister chinamasa on this particular issue. Is it really true that our internet connectivity is so poor or unusable. yet we are connected and exchanging these views all the time. Lets wake up and smell the coffee. We are so used to playing down our own potential as a people. We spend time writing these comments instead of standing up and using our brains to change our plight. zvinoshatirisa mhani!

    1. justin says:

      Solution to the Zim issues involve get all new politicians from a far away country not tainted by ZIMBABWE? Maybe these new politicians can implement our laws and fight corruption.

      Am sorry to say this but Smith was right, we were and are not ready to rule ourselves But it would be a bummer not to walk muna First street!

  8. Angel says:

    No railways to speak off. Powercuts. Bad roads. Long registration process. Bribes to get things done… Blablabla I Agree with Shati we all know our problems we dont need workshops or discussion seminars to point them out. When do we start providing solutions?

  9. Dan says:

    A rather biased analysis, where’s other countries listed, out of the 54 countries we would be quite high up. Yes things may be tough now but we are certainly better than a lot of countries. It’s time to positively promote our country than to shoot it down.
    Shatirwai I’m with you

  10. chase says:

    people this means we are number 12 out of 54 countries…I would say that’s pretty impressive!!

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