Government engages NGO partner to fund SMEs

Sunday, 27 March 2011 21:52
By More Tirivashoma

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Government last week signed a memorandum of understanding with an international non- governmental organisation, Technoserve International, which will see the latter injecting funds to help small businesses in Zimbabwe.

The signing ceremony precedes a Cabinet resolution which endorsed the two partners to work together for the development of small and medi-um-scale enterprises in Zimbabwe. Minister Sithembiso Nyoni signed on behalf of Government while Ms Margaret Rose, who is the incoming country director, signed on behalf of Technoserve International.

Minister Nyoni said the partnership was an indication that Government was ready to work with anyone who had genuine interests to uplift the lives of Zimbabweans.
"This partnership will fill the gaps especially in the agro-industry which is key to our land reform. This will also stimulate competition in the micro- business sector which will lead to improved quality of products," she said. Minister Nyoni said the programme was mainly targeted at rural entrepreneurs who previously did not benefit much from Government's small business development initiatives. This, she said, will be complemented by providing not only money but also technical assistance and business skills to the entrepreneurs.

Ms Rose said her organisation seeks to transform the Zimbabwe's SMEs and link them with established businesses while laying a framework for the expansion of the country's economy as a whole. She said her organisation would also make a positive impact on the agricultural sector.

"As the incoming country director, I assure you that what I am promising here is not mere theory but the beginning of a practical approach to help Zimbabwe's SMEs in the next couple of months," she said. Ms Rose said her organisation will immediately launch a competition worth US$250 000 for the SMEs from all provinces to encourage good business practices among the sector.