RBZ tops business support awareness list for MSMEs

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By Alois Vinga

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has topped the list of institutions which are providing business awareness information of benefit to the Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises players in the country, a FinScope MSME Survey 2022 Report shows.

The survey was designed to involve a range of stakeholders engaging in a comprehensive consultation process, in the process producing outcomes which ensure appropriateness and stakeholder buy-in.

It shows that in terms of business support awareness by institution, RBZ scored 43%, being the highest on the list followed by the Agriculture, Irrigation and Mechanisation Development at 41% and Women Affairs Ministry at 41%.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority was ranked fourth followed by the Mines and Mining Development Ministry.

“The survey shows that 92% of respondents are aware of an organisation giving assistance or advice to MSMEs while 10% of those aware of an organisation giving business support used their service,” says the study.

The survey also establishes that Business Member Organisations are lagging behind government agencies in raising business support awareness for the MSMEs, with Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) being the first BMO but in seventh position.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Zimbabwe (SMEAZ) stood on position nine and was the only purely SME association to make it on the list.

According to the report, formalisation in the country has not improved over the past decade at 14%, with the lowest proportion being in the individual to small enterprises.

“The main barrier is due to business size, where the enterprise is too small or lacks funds for registration. Hence, business owners indicate a desire to formalise if the process was made free and well sensitised to inform the business on the benefits of formalisation,” the report observed.

The report also observes that the MSME sector continues to be a key pillar for economic growth (GDP) and employment creation, showing an increase in the estimated number of employees and profit (GDP) contribution of the sector up to US$8.6 billion post the COVID-19 pandemic.