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SMEs International Expo 2021, a symbol of resilience

Delight Makotose

SMEs International Expo 2021, a symbol of resilience

By Edward Mukaro

THE 11th edition of the SMEs International Expo roars to life this week, as organisers prepare to welcome the local and international business community at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) from the 17th – 19th November 2021.

It is an exhibition that is expected to show the resilience of a sector that has been battered by the COVID- 19 pandemic, as at the onset of intervention measures to curb the spread of the pandemic, national lockdowns have weighed down a sector that has been described as pivotal to the rejuvenation of the country’s economy.

While the Government has made efforts to cushion SMEs from the harsh impact of the pandemic. It is also true that some are yet to get this COVID- 19 cushioning fund, however, the resilience by players in the sector has paid off for business and the country at large.

As COVID took a foothold, SMEs were at some point defined as falling into the bracket of services that were deemed as not essential; hence, business had stopped.

However, as the authorities softened the lockdown restrictions activity in the sector boomed, as players were raring to go to resurrect and sustain their families livelihoods.

SMEs still require cushioning funds from financial institutions and the government to realise their potential. No doubt, adapting to technology is a must, but this does not happen when funds are limited.

Technology is going to play a major part in the sector’s survival during a time when some corporates are still on their knees as a result of the pandemic’s impact.

Lockdowns and social distancing imposed a radical rethinking of business models, with firms moving operations online or implementing smart working solutions at short notice to remain in business and overcome disruptions in supply chains It is interesting to note that organisers of the showcase have taken all the necessary precautions to make the event as safe as can be in as far as the COVID is concerned.

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