Unemployed? Could self-employment be the solution?

Are you finding it impossible to break into the jobs market in Zambia? Or perhaps you are employed but want more freedom and flexibility? Could self-employment be the solution.

The Rise of Self-Employment

A recent report by the Office of National Statistics in the UK has shown that the number of self employed in the UK has risen significantly since the start of 2008.

Aside from the lack of traditional employment opportunities there are a number of factors that could be related to the rise of self-employment. These factors include:

  1. The rise of the internet and mobile communication that has enabled more people to connect and start businesses.
  2. The desire for improvements in work/life balance.
  3. The wish to have a great share of the financial rewards associated with output and performance.

So what types of self-employment opportunities exist?

The list of self-employment opportunities is huge. From buying and selling of all varieties of goods and services, to labouring and trades, to freelancing and consultancy – there are numerous self-employment opportunities to explore.

Benefits and disadvantages of self-employment

Being your own boss sounds great but remember it can be challenging and it is not a path that everyone will be able to or want to take. Below we list some of the benefits and disadvantages of self-employment:


  • More control over financial rewards of work
  • Freedom and flexibility over working hours and conditions
  • Ability to explore areas of interest and opportunity


  • Less certainty of income
  • Having to fund own training, holidays and sick leave
  • Lack of support network

Turning ideas into action

For many people self-employment starts with an idea and a belief that they can provide a good or service that will be a success. The idea could be born out of nowhere as a thought pops into your mind. Alternatively, the idea may grow over time as you discover opportunities within your current profession or elsewhere.

For many, an idea just stays that – an idea. Put off by the hard-work and effort required or unable to get sufficient support or finance to grow the idea – the idea is put to one-side.

However, help is often at hand. The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) promotes economic growth and help support small businesses in Zambia. There are also lots of free business start-up guides on the internet that can help you explore and develop business opportunities.

The free guide entitled Make Business Your Business is well worth a read. You can even check out links to interviews with real-life business start-up success stories.

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