MSME sup­port: Av­enue for de­vel­op­ment

Sunday Express - - BUSINESS JOURNAL -

MI­CRO, small and medium-sized En­ter­prises (MSMEs), also known as SMMEs are re­garded as key driv­ers of economies, and in turn gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP).

South Africa’s Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Lindiwe Zulu made a telling re­mark at the Global En­trepreneur­ship congress of 2017 held in Jo­han­nes­burg that “SMMEs are the fuel of our econ­omy”.

This, we also saw at the 2016 sem­i­nar on trade pro­mo­tion and de­vel­op­ment of SMMEs for Le­sotho, held in Beijing, China at the Academy for in­ter­na­tional busi­ness of­fi­cials.

China ex­pe­ri­enced re­mark­able eco­nomic growth fol­low­ing its eco­nomic re­forms from 1979, which stressed the im­por­tance of SMMEs sup­port.

Ex­pe­ri­ence in­di­cates that for eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to thrive, the mi­cro and macro en­vi­ron­ment should be con­ducive.  We can talk of is­sues like good cor­po­rate gov­er­nance prac­tices, strong in­ter­nal con­trol sys­tems, pro­fes­sional ethics and due dili­gence etc.  Strong in­dus­tries and in­sti­tu­tions which are free from pol­lu­tion, ei­ther un­clear wa­ter, air, waste/rub­bish scat­tered all over streets.  The le­gal frame­work within which busi­nesses op­er­ate should be user friendly so that en­trepreneurs can com­ply with ease and at low costs.  Po­lit­i­cal cli­mate: In­sta­bil­ity in the gov­ern­ment threat­ens the smooth run­ning of most MSMEs. This is be­cause po­ten­tial fun­ders, in­vestors, busi­ness part­ners, sup­pli­ers, trade con­tacts in gen­eral, lose con­fi­dence in en­gag­ing in trade with some­one whose po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment is not sta­ble.

Econet founder Dr Strive Masiyiwa, in one of his writ­ings, said: “En­trepreneur- ship should be taught as a sub­ject in all schools across Africa.”

I couldn’t agree more. This is be­cause we need en­trepreneurs now more than ever be­fore, ow­ing to the very ev­i­dent high un­em­ploy­ment rate, es­pe­cially among youths.

As we can wit­ness, the big­gest em­ployer of peo­ple in Africa is the in­for­mal sec­tor. We can men­tion small-holder farm­ers, street ven­dors deal­ing in air­time and snacks, fruits and veg­eta­bles, clothes, food, hair, etc.

These peo­ple con­trib­ute to eco­nomic growth. The ques­tion is; how their trad­ing life is made eas­ier, both by the gov­ern­ment and us as the pub­lic. What poli­cies ex­ist to help them grow? As their busi­nesses grow, they em­ploy more peo­ple and that’s how un­em­ploy­ment de­clines.

There may still be some at­tempts to be con­sid­ered in an en­deavor to fight this un­em­ploy­ment. This can be done by strength­en­ing the pri­mary schools cur­ricu­lum by in­tro­duc­tion of en­trepreneur­ship and lead­er­ship sub­jects so that even if chil­dren drop out of school while still at pri­mary level, they can be able to start busi­nesses to earn money for sur­vival even in case of un­em­ploy­ment.

The en­trepreneur­ship cul­ture is al­ready seen as we look at our broth­ers and sis­ters in coun­tries like In­dia, China, Ja­pan, Ger­many and oth­ers. The chil­dren are ex­posed to busi­ness at a ten­der age and this makes them want to own their busi­nesses and em­ploy peo­ple.

En­trepreneur­ship skills set also en­tails, know­ing how to uti­lize God-given tal­ents to make money, e.g hand­i­crafts, draw­ing, arts, mu­sic, drama, po­etry, com­edy, do­ing hair etc.

At JCI, we get to know of many de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties that em­power young peo­ple to cre­ate pos­i­tive changes in their com­mu­ni­ties, this trans­late into busi­ness at the end of the day when one solves the prob­lems, in ex­change for a cer­tain in­cen­tive.

To all young peo­ple, I would like to say, let’s en­gage and con­trib­ute to our com­mu­ni­ties!

Sa Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter lindiwe Zulu.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.