Workspace remains a headache for SMEs- Nyoni

0
122
vegetable vendors at Birchnough bridge
vegetable vendors at Birchnough bridge
Chris Mahove

Deficiencies in the provision of workspace for Small to Medium enterprises has hampered the growth of the sector, pre and post COVID-19, SME’S Minister , Stembiso Nyoni has said.

Minister Nyoni said this while officiating at the launch of the 11TH SME’s International Expo theme in Harare Wednesday.

She said the rapid expansion of the sector has created high demand for workspace, adding that Micro-Small to Medium Enterprises {MSME’s} were also experiencing disparities in accessing workstations.

“The huge demand for workspace by MSME’s requires collaborative approach among stakeholders to ensure the availability of appropriate and affordable workspace for the sector,” she said.

In order to spur development and growth of the sector, Minister Nyoni said, relevant stakeholders , including government line ministries and agencies, the SME’s sector, financial institutions and other development partners should work together.

The informal sector has had a long battle with local authorities over the provision of workspaces, which has led to unending running battles, especially in urban areas.

A number of SME’s have seen their structures demolished by local authorities for one reason or another, leaving to the collapse and slow down of many small businesses.

Minister Nyoni noted that the advent of the coronavirus has exacerbated the situation as some of the workspaces were closed by authorities as they were deemed as unorganised, unregulated, congested and unsafe.

She however, noted that Section 4.6 of the Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises Policy 2020-2024 provided a framework for line ministries to collaborate with the private sector and the SME’S sector to provide workspace and infrastructure for MSME’s.

“The framework has a variety of arrangements such as Build Operate and Transfer {BOT}, Build Own Operate and Transfer {BOOT} arrangements or land is sold to MSME’s for construction of their own workspaces, or the local authorities can build and rent on it,” she said.

Minister Nyoni said the MSME’s policy 2020-2024  was meant to ensure that small businesses were included in the country’s national development agenda for the country to achieve an upper middle class economy by 2030.

Government, she noted, recognised the critical role played by the sector in the creation of jobs, empowerment, wealth generation and the growth of the economy as a whole.

SME’s have become the engine for economic growth in the country which, if fully supported, can contribute immensely to the country’s economic development as they promote grassroots economic growth and equitable sustainable development.

This year’s International SME’s expo, the 11th its inception will run from November 17 to 19 in Harare under the theme “Entrepreneurial Spirit, Sustainable Strategy, Modern Vision for Business Growth and will have both physical and virtual exhibitors.

More than 150 local and international exhibitors have confirmed their participation, with more international exhibitors expected to come in as the date nears.

 

 

ReplyForward
close

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every day.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

seven − 5 =