…as the premier SMEs showcase bubbles on 10th anniversary
By Wellington Zimbowa
FIXED telecommunications operator, TelOne, has acknowledged the multi-pronged benefits of the SMEs International Expo in broadening the horizon of small to medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as providing various corporates with a unique interface experience with the sector that has become a major national economic backbone.
SMEs contribute significantly to the national GDP while providing a lifeline for the majority of Zimbabweans in the wake of massive industry shut down in the last two decades.
“I think the International Expo is a very good way to bring SME’s together and share business ideas, as well giving potential suppliers the opportunity to meet this target market at one place, hence making it easier to market products and services,” said TelOne’s brand manager Martha Muzembe.
A product of Twin Investments, SMEs International Expo commenced in 2010; this year’s showcase marks a milestone, 10th Anniversary.
Also, the 2020 edition that was launched online, will undertake a digital showcase due to the current COVID- 19 pandemic health guidelines, to deter its spread through avoidance of public gatherings and unnecessary movement of people.
The four-day online expo will run from October 28 to November 1, under the theme: “Production for Sustainable Growth, During and Post Covid-19”.
Previously, hundreds of international delegates comprising buyers, foreign government officials, company representatives have graced the annual event that has become an annual premier showcase at the Harare International Conference Center (HICC).
The telecommunications giant said it is a proud official connectivity partner for the 2020 edition, hinting that the COVID- 19 pandemic impacted negatively over its traditional partnership package.
“TelOne is proud to be official connectivity partner for the SMEs expo 2020. Over the past couple of years, TelOne has sponsored the Expo in different forms. This year, due to the circumstances surrounding COVID- 19 and the level 2 lockdown, TelOne has considered the option of a connectivity solution for the Expo,” said Muzembe.
SMEs International Expo director, Delight Makotose, commended TelOne’s support saying it was ‘welcome and very key’ in the sector’s transformation into the new normal.
He said that it was very inspiring for big brother companies, such as TelOne, supporting their small bothers, the SME’s.
He said: “The more you see corporates engaging and giving SME’s support, it is actually a big motivator.”
He, however, highlighted that big corporate that takes a back seat position on SME’s issues will be missing out on an untapped market, as the sector is a key pillar of national development.
“We are in an era where corroboration and collaboration are very key, not the archaic silo mentalities,” he said.
He said products have value chains, hence partaking on such activities was necessary to positively steer brand visibility and connect with potential customers.
However, Makotose noted that the 2020 Expo launch, held through zoom had some technical glitches, calling for continuous service innovations in line with international benchmarks.
“Perhaps we are navigating in new terrain. TelOne and other service providers should continuously invest in top of the range network systems such as 5G,” he said.
Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni was the launch’s Guest of Honour. She was represented by ministry’s SME’s Development director, Mr Francis Gondo.