Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
BULAWAYO will host the International Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) indaba next week with a focus on embracing innovation so as to tap into new opportunities.
The three-day event runs from 22 to 24 March at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre under the theme “Unlocking Innovative SME Development”.
Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni will be the guest of honour at the event while Mr Rajiv Chawla, the chairperson of “I AM SME” of India, will be the international guest speaker.
Zimbabwe’s SMEs sector has demonstrated resilience in the face of a challenging economy with the budding entrepreneurs exhibiting flexibility in adapting to changes in market tastes and preferences. Despite its potential the growth of the sector continues to be weighed down by challenges such as lack of access to finance, inadequate working space, limited management and marketing skills, lack of supporting legislation and regulatory structures, which have seen SMEs operators playing hide and seek with authorities.
In Zimbabwe SMEs are believed to be employing close to five million people across sectors.
The Government through the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development has been on a crusade to facilitate formalisation of the informal sector.
Major highlights of the international SME indaba will be high level networking evening and business to business meetings with Indian business delegation.