By Bulawayo Correspondent
A total of 200 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Bulawayo have been shotlisted to undergo a five-day International Labour Organisation (ILO) funded Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) training programme.
SIYB is an ILO management training programme with a focus on starting and improving small businesses as a strategy for creating more and better employment.
The training programme which kicked off in the city Friday, seeks to facilitate the transition of workers and enterprises from informality to formality and increase respect for workers’ rights.
Officially opening the training workshop Monday, Bulawayo provincial development officer in the Small and Medium Enterprises ministry, Dingani Dlomo said the programme will provide hands-on and practical guidance on how to promote higher productivity and better working conditions in the informal economy.
“The ILO cooperation with the tripartite partners is looking to improve working conditions for those participating in the informal economy. The programme has an overall aim of promoting the creation and sustainability of enterprises and decent jobs in the formal economy,” said Dlomo.
He urged participants to take their training seriously, saying his ministry will render all the necessary support during the programme.
“As a Ministry, we are happy that the newly developed trainers will train 200 potential and existing entrepreneurs, both women and men, adults and youths to start viable businesses to increase the viability of existing enterprises and to create quality employment for others in the process,” said the development officer.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Zimbabwe Chamber of SMEs National Organising Secretary, Energy Majazi applauded lLO for choosing trainees from Bulawayo.
“We would like to thank ILO for taking this training course to Bulawayo. The city which used to be the industrial hub of Zimbabwe has been facing a decline in industries.
“We hope the participants are going to benefit a lot from this timely intervention,” said Majazi.
The training programme consists of four inter-related training packages namely: Generate Your Business Idea (GYB), Start Your Business (SYB), Improve Your Business (IYB) and Expand Your Business (EYB).
Following this training, it is expected that the trainees will be better positioned to effectively and independently implement business start-up and improvement training for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.
Once the country’s industrial hub, companies in Bulawayo have either closed or relocated to other places.
Estimates say over 100 companies have closed shop affecting over 20 000 employees.
Big companies like National Blankets, Zeco, Cold Storage Commission, and clothing companies such as Archer, Security Mils and Merlin are some of the big companies which have either down-sized production or closed shop due to operational constraints.