The SME Association of Zimbabwe will this week host the Local Legends awards,
an event meant to honour and reward MSMEs that have excelled in growing their businesses over the course of the year.
“The Local Legends awards are given to members that have been outstanding in terms of working on growing their businesses. They are merit-based awards hinged on continuous assessment of the member’s progress in terms of working on particular aspects of their
business. We therefore have award categories for issues like compliance (formalisation), risk management, corporate governance, customer service, branding and so on” explained Farai Mutambanengwe, the Executive Officer of the SME Association of Zimbabwe.
The Local Legends awards will be officiated over by the Minister of Women Affairs, Community and SME Development, Sithembiso Nyoni as well as senior representatives from the Ministry.
This is the second time that this awards ceremony is being held, the first having been in 2016.
Mutambanengwe indicated that they had suspended the awards ceremony in the intervening period as they felt there was a need to first improve their internal monitoring systems so as to be able to objectively pick out winners based on evidence. On the eve of the Association’s ten-year anniversary, he felt that they were now able to do this.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the prevailing general economic environment over the past few years severely affected our MSMEs, 2021 has seen some respite as inflation came down to double-digit levels and there was relative stability in the environment. As such, some players within the sector have started to experience growth, although there is need for further improvement in the doing business environment to enable more MSMEs to thrive and grow.”
Turning to the working relationship with their parent ministry, Mutambanengwe stated that the Ministry has been their all-weather partner in trying to assist MSMEs to grow, having provided support with issues like exemption letters during the lockdown period.
“We are happy that for the second time running the Ministry has agreed to partner us in this endeavour, and we look forward to continuing to work with them especially on issues highlighted in the National MSME Policy 2020 to 2024. We would like to see a robust, growth-oriented MSME sector emerging in Zimbabwe, rivalling the best on the continent and indeed on the globe” he added.