Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
SMALL to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that exhibited under the banner of ZimTrade at the just ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair have said the exposure they gained has helped them explore new linkages to grow their businesses.
ZimTrade, a trade promotion body, this year took under its wing six SMEs to exhibit under its banner from around the country. Five were exhibiting at the ZITF for the first time and these were Triple Tee Footwear, Kozani Resources, Sweet Maungwe Honey, Hard Woods Africa and Family Castings while Mawabeni Designs was coming for its second time.
The SMEs expressed satisfaction on the response they received during the showcase.
“We are very excited about the opportunity that we have been afforded by ZimTrade. We gained a lot of exposure and we have been getting a lot of interesting visitors,” said Mr Ngonidzashe Zivanai, a co-director for Family Castings, a Bulawayo-based steel company.
He said he was surprised that most visitors could not believe that they were based in Bulawayo.
“Being in an exhibition is an exposure to us as some of the visitors from around Bulawayo were even surprised that we are in Bulawayo. I am sure it is going to open doors for us,” said Mr Zivanai.
Sweet Maungwe Honey director Mrs Jacqui Gowe said there were a number of potential export deals they have entered into
during the exhibition.
“We are meeting a lot of people here and some are from outside Zimbabwe. I have spoken to many foreign people, one from South Africa another from Australia and some Chinese people who have shown real interest in my products,” said Mrs Gowe.
Sales and marketing manager for Triple Tee Footwear Mr Godknows Simbanegavi said he was attending the exhibition for the second time under ZimTrade although the first time was in Zambia.
“We have benefited before from ZimTrade although the first time was in a Zambian exhibition. After the Zambian exhibition we managed to set up shop in Zambia, so basically we are exporting. Our intention is to grow and I think this exhibition will improve on that,” said Mr Simbanegavi.
ZimTrade client service delivery director Mr Allan Majuru said the six SMEs were chosen according to their export readiness and the potential to do so.
“For exhibitions we focus on SMEs and this year we have chosen six that are export ready or have the potential to export. We have trained them on how to display and negotiate deals at the exhibition,” said Mr Majuru.
He said ZimTrade was going to help them follow-up on the deals they managed to clinch.
“The SMEs are getting some enquiries and we hope that we will help them follow up on them. Our goal is that they export so from here will help them until they are able to export,” Mr Majuru said.