SMEs International Expo dates out
The annual SMEs International Expo dates are now out, The BusinessConnect reveals.
SMEs International Expo director, Delight Makotose said the yearly event will be held physically, at the end of October.
“The expo will go ahead even if we are faced with the scourge of the COVID- 19. We are alive to the impact of the pandemic to many businesses. We are aware of how adversely the viral disease has affected many businesses.
“However, livelihoods cannot be held to ransom because of that. We are monitoring the trends of the disease, but we are confident that the event will go ahead,” said Makotose, who has been running the Expo since 2011.
He said they have learnt some lessons on COVID since last year, which they would employ.
“Last year, we held the Expo virtually, but this year we will hold it physically. Over the last year, we, as business have learnt a lot about COVID whose lessons we will use to mitigate its spread. Unlike last year, there was no vaccine and we hope by the time we hold the expo we would have achieved Herd Immunity. Of course, there will be sanitization, masking up and maintaining of social distance, which is being recommended by the health authorities,” said Makotose.
The Expo boss said the event has been growing in leaps and bounds since its inaugural inception in 2011.
“The event will be held from the 27th to 29th October. We are pleased as organisers because the event has been growing in terms of exhibitors and visitors. In 2011, we had 87 exhibitors and now we are getting, like in 2019, over 350 exhibitors, which is very gratifying. It’s unfortunate that quite a number of SMEs have closed shop because of the pandemic that has been raging for over a year now. The SMEs have been hit hard by the pandemic and that will definitely have a negative effect on the exhibition. However, we expect our businesses to be resilient,” he said.
The affable Makotose said the theme of this year was influenced by the desire to see businesses being stoic in the face of challenges brought about by the deadly disease.
“Our theme this year is Entrepreneurial Spirit, Sustainable Strategy and Modern Vision for Business growth. There is a need to have a resilient spirit to remain in business. Modern entrepreneurs should embrace new technology if they want to remain afloat. Technology should be the transformational tool for every business,” he said.
Makotose was however coy when asked who the guest of honour would be.
“We are looking for somebody who will inspire confidence and give hope to the business community. Somebody who will ensure that business people remain in the game,” said amiable Makotose.
In the past, however, top government people, including President Mnangagwa, have graced the occasion.