Chiwenga calls on SMEs to follow compliance standards

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By Alois Vinga

VICE President, Constantino Chiwenga has urged the Micro-Small to Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to embrace compliance standards to up the ante and tap into the global export market.

The MSME 2021 Survey revealed that the sector is made up of 3.4 million businesses and provides full time employment to over 4,8 million people.

According to the 2022 Finscope SME Survey, MSMEs contributed US$ 8, 2 billion to national GDP.

It is pleasing to note that of the 4, 8 million full time employees in the sector, women constituted the majority at 52,1%.

“Given their versatility, if supported adequately, SMEs have the potential to significantly contribute towards the country’s productive capacity and the targeted exports of US$14 billion by 2030.

“However, there is need for them to embrace adherence and compliance to standards and technical regulations as an imperative for global competitiveness,” Chiwenga said.

He also urged Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) and ZIMTRADE to work closely with the Women’s Affairs Ministry to ensure that SMEs are equipped to exploit local and export market opportunities for their products and services.

He called on SMEs to continue leveraging on technology and digitisation as it has become an important catalyst for enterprise growth and transformation underscoring that it not only allows companies to streamline processes and innovate, but also allows them to scale up to higher value activities and reach new markets.

Government guided by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) and National Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Policy (2020-2024), has over the years been implementing a number of programmes and projects to spur growth in the sector.

Some of the programmes include improving the enabling legal and regulatory environment, management and technical skills development, access to modern production technology, market development and trade promotion, workspace development and MSMEs financial support among others.