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2021 SMEs International Expo theme launched

Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Entreprises, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni

2021 SMEs International Expo theme launched

By Vimbai Kamoyo

THE theme for this year’s SMEs International Expo was launched this last Wednesday at a colourful event, The Business Connect reports.

The launch of the theme “Entrepreneurial Spirit, Sustainable Strategy, Modern Vision For Business Growth” was presided over by the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Sitembiso Nyoni, who was represented by her underlining, had great praise for the idea and envisaged great things for the SMEs sector.

“The theme and the SMEs Expo come at the right opportune time where government after consultations and careful considerations has seen it fit to relax business operation regulations, albeit under strict COVID 19 regulations, as the nation seeks to make a rebound and make good its economic growth trajectory, set at 7, 8 percent, on the back of a successful 2020/21 farming season.

“The theme in many ways speaks of the government’s efforts to get the best out of the sector, as the Second Republic is pushing for a sustainable economy and business growth, through sustainable means.

“Players in the sector have undoubtedly been affected by the pandemic in various ways, but now is not the time to continue mourning, but time is nigh for collective action from all Micro-Small to Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); hence my ministry is pushing for the economic rejuvenation agenda, since it is undoubted that our sector is the engine room for growth,” said the minister.

She said there was a need to address the problem of workplaces as that was hampering the operations of many a business.

“Issues to do with workspace have plagued the sector’s smooth operations pre and post COVID- 19 times.

“There is excess demand for workspace by the MSMEs induced by the rapid expansion of the sector. At the same time, the MSMEs sector is experiencing disparities and deficiencies in accessing workspace.

“Section 4.6 of the National Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Policy 2020 -2024, provides a framework where central government through line ministries will work closely with local authorities and private sector and MSMEs to develop workspace and infrastructure for MSMEs

“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 MSMEs for constructing their own workspaces, or the local authorities can build and rent out,” she said.

The minister said the SMEs International Expo will play a crucial role at next year’s Dubai Expo.

“The ministry as an arm of the government gladly announces that SMEs International Expo will play a leading role in Zimbabwe’s participation at next year’s Expo in Dubai by leading the Zimbabwean delegation at the premium international exhibition,” she said.

Speaking at the same occasion the director of the SMEs International Expo Delight Makotose said the government has done well in advancing the interests of small to medium businesses.

“Government has played a leading role in advancing SMEs development as witnessed by the formulation of the MSMEs policy, last year, which we expect to fully benefit players in the sector given the fact that players were allowed to have input in the formulation process, which was all-inclusive.

“The role played by the government should not be taken for granted as the authorities through various arms and the parent ministry. Therefore, we commend the government for the COVID- 19 cushioning fund which some players in the sector managed to access,” said Makotose.

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