By Daniel Chigundu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says government will be rolling out Business Incubation Programs to help unlock potential in the country’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs) sector.
Zimbabwe has about 3.5 million SMEs operating in various sectors of the economy but most of them have been failing to realise their full potential owing to various challenges that range from operational, financial and markets for their products.
Despite the various challenges they face, SMEs are currently contributing above 60 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and about 80 percent to employment.
Presenting his State of the Nation Address to Parliament, President Mnangagwa said under the incubation program, SMEs will be encouraged to establish synergies and linkages with corporates.
“To further unlock the growth potential of small to medium enterprises sector, government is rolling out the Business Incubation Program to several towns and rural service centres.
“Under this program, businesses in this category are encouraged to establish and develop linkages and synergies with large-scale corporate bodies.
“In the same vein, the government has provided for the expansion and increase of Youth Vocational Training Centres in a bid to enhance entrepreneurial and business relevant skills to young people,” he said.
Mnangagwa’s sentiments echo well with what the SMEs International Expo has been trying to do since its inception in 2011.
In an interview Twins Investments Group chief executive Blessing Magenga said the idea to hold this expo was hatched after realizing that most SMEs have the skill to make good products but the lack of exposure has been affecting their progress and growth.
Magenga believes this initiative is what has been missing for a long time in-order for SMEs to start expanding their products and accessing other markets locally and internationally.
“The Expo is an annual exhibition specifically geared to afford SMEs and corporates a platform to showcase their products and services. The expo is a strategic marketing platform that affords SMEs a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain visibility nationally and internationally, and to create business synergies with other organizations globally,” she said.