The development of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) is crucial to the attainment of broader development objectives such as employment and increasing indigenous ownership of investment and the means of production in the economy.
Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Sithembiso Nyoni on Friday encouraged small businesses to embrace the SMEs Expo initiative.
“The role of SMEs in economic development is enhanced through the establishment of the strategic business linkages. The latter allow the sharing of information, market identification and the creation of measures by SMEs which ultimately increase their stake in the mainstream economy,” said Nyoni.
She said prosperity of small businesses has led to the growth of many economies worldwide.
SMEs contribute more than 50% of total employment while contribution to gross domestic product stands around 60%.
“It is against the background that the government of Zimbabwe will continue to give the SMEs support which is necessary for their growth and development,” said Nyoni.
“Whatever initiative taken by a business entity, it wishes to address a problem or to enhance an opportunity.”
She said the country had opened a new page given the renewed interest in SMEs by the international community and urged the business community to ride on the wave by showcasing and meeting potential business partners.
Last Thursday Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono urged financial institutions to establish a bank that will cater for the needs of SMEs in the country.
“The proposed bank would help transform the retained earnings and informal savings schemes in the country’s unbanked communities and add value to them by on- lending to viable, but underfunded SMEs” Gono said.
In the first quarter of this year National Social Security Authority made available $178 300 to Small Enterprises Development Corporation for SMEs. At least 337 projects benefited creating 50 new jobs.