Large corporates urged to embrace SMEs

by | Oct 13, 2021 | Business | 0 comments


Hosia Mviringi

Large businesses in Zimbabwe have been urged to work with small enterprises as a way of empowering local communities and growing the economy.
Addressing delegates a recent exhibition organised by Young Women for Economic Development in Harare recently, Harare Provincial Development Chairperson Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said such synergies have potential to improve the standing of the largest sector in the country; small and medium enterprises.

“As we build our economy it is becoming increasingly imperative that larger corporate begin to work with small enterprises. As we are about to launch the Provincial Economic Development Plan (PEDP), and in our five year economic development strategy as Harare we have made it clear that we are going to launch a Business Development Strategy,” said PDC Muguti.

He emphasised that as part of that strategy, and in line with government’s thrust of leaving no one behind, it will be very important that big businesses in Zimbabwe embrace local small enterprises as partners or suppliers so that the economic gains are evenly spread across the breadth of the economy.

He urged retailers to have a dedicated proportion of merchandise that is produced by small enterprises as part of embracing small businesses.

Manufacturers alike, under the strategy will be compelled to ensure that a certain component of raw material inputs is supplied by local SME’s.

“As part of that strategy, we will ensure that the Pick ‘n’/Pays, the OK’s, the Bon Marché’s of this land will have a certain quota of products on their shelves that are sources from local SME’s. That has got to be done.

We can’t labour so hard, only to leave our money in their stores, yet they don’t want to put money in our homes in return. That has to change and it has to change now,” said PDC Muguti.

PDC Muguti called for affirmative action as a way to promote and protect small businesses comes as the small enterprise sector is increasingly facing unfair competition from established businesses who enjoy competitive advantage through economies of scale and long established relationships with the market.

This inclusion policy could be the tonic that will spur small businesses into competitive heights as it opens up the markets to their goods and services.

Young Women for Economic Development (Young Women4ED) is an initiative that is meant to mainstream women owned businesses and to try and give them a head start in the business world that is characterised with cut throat competition from male owned businesses which usually employ aggressive tactics.

Mr Muguti bemoaned the existence of a cartel of big businesses, who are so determined to shut the young black entrepreneurs out of the market.

He said they employ smart strategies to frustrate young business owners by closing up the market through established monopolies.

He pledged government commitment to see through the inclusion of small enterprises into the mainstream economy.

Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation Honourable Tinoda Machakaire who also graced the occasion pledged his support for local women owned small enterprises by pledging to switch his security service provider for the one that is owned by a black Zimbabwean woman.