Move to formalise small to medium businesses body

Bulawayo Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises - ZCSME Chapter Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship training at Bulawayo SMEs Centre

The Chamber of Small to Medium Enterprises (MSEs) has intensified its efforts to formalise its structure and role as the representative voice of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as entrusted by government.

A 2021 MSMEs survey revealed the alarming state of the MSMEs in Zimbabwe such as lack of access to habitable working spaces.

Key findings from the survey showed that there was an urgent need for collaborative efforts to address these challenges.

“The Chamber of SMEs has realised that to achieve the 2020-2024 policy objectives there is an urgent need of formalisng the Chamber as an organisation that has been entrusted as the voice of the MSMEs by the government,” the chamber said in its position paper ahead of its strategic seminar scheduled for April in Masvingo.

The seminar will be held under the theme “Accelerating the attainment of Vision 2030 through collaborative efforts on implementation of MSMEs Policy 2020-2024”.

“A formalised Chamber will have the corporate and, or institutional capacity to negotiate and secure on behalf of MSMEs the following 2021 MSMEs survey identified gaps which are threatening the attainment of Vision 2030,” the position paper added.

“Affordable MSMEs workspace and housing, affordable technical business trainings to MSMEs, affordable social protection service, affordable MSMEs business loans, access to wider markets by MSMEs through the use of modern ICT.”

According to the survey, at least 29% of enterprises were said to be operating from home without proper business-related installations.

The survey underscored the crucial role of affordable technical business training in enhancing the capacity and competitiveness of MSMEs.

The survey indicated that open pits were the most common method of solid waste disposal at business sites, as indicated by 41% of the enterprises.

 “These key statistics together with many others as therein revealed by the survey if summarised, point to an urgent need for a collaborative effort by the government, chamber of SMEs, local authorities and private business corporates to provide well thought-out package(s) that will motivate the MSMEs to voluntarily get into the mainstream formalised economy,” the paper added.

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