SMEs body launches Biometric Database System
T H E Zimbabwe Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (ZCSME) on Friday launched a Biometric Database in efforts to formalise their industry.
A Biometric Database is a unique system, which identifies individuals and companies using different identifiers such as name, signature, fingerprint and geographical location.
It is aimed at effective identification and management of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s). Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Sithembiso Nyoni applauded the ZCSME for coming up with its own database for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“This database will not only assist the Chamber but also policy makers, researchers in academia in understanding the nature, size and scope of MSMEs in Zimbabwe,” she said while officiating at the event in Harare.
She also said that the database will assist in giving an idea of the contribution of MSMEs to economic growth.
“My Ministry also established a database in 2012 and so far 10 000 MSMEs have been captured,” said Minister Nyoni.
The progress in data capturing has been slow due to inadequate resources, finance, hardware and software challenges as well as the lack of incentives for MSMEs to register in the database.
She, however, said that the problem will soon be alleviated as an African bank has availed a three-year grant to the Ministry of SMEs to upgrade the database software and installation of a Wide Area Network in all 72 districts, which is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
In 2012 the Ministry of SMEs along with the World Bank did a survey, which showed that 85 percent of the MSMEs are informal and that almost $7,4 billion was circulating in this sector.
The report also revealed that there are 2,8 million business owners employing 2,9 million people and giving a total of 5,7 million people.
Minister Nyoni added that the formalisation of the informal sector should be given paramount attention by the Government so that all the activities are accounted for in the national systems and fiscus.
“In an effort to promote formalisation of the informal sector, my Ministry is in the process of coming up with a Formalisation Strategy, which will promote their (MSMEs) participation in the mainstream economy.
“This database will also encourage the formalisation initiative by Government and at the same time assist in the graduation of MSMEs from micro to small, small to medium and ultimately, from medium to large enterprises,” said Minister Nyoni.
When fully functional the biometric database will result in targeted support schemes, which will facilitate in development, growth and graduation of MSMEs in large corporates. — BH24
Minister Sithembiso Nyoni