Zambia's Enterprises Drive The Economy
LUSAKA, June 4 - With a visionary approach, Zambia's hundreds of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can easily become the engine of the country's economy.
All they need is organised, sustained support from Government and the financial institutions that have for sometime now tended to completely ignore them, probably because of their small size.
It is said that even in the great United States of America, the millions of SMEs have continued to be the backbone of the national economy.
It is those little fellows generating employment, pumping out salaries and paying taxes to build America.
Why can't Zambia emulate America and do the same for her SMEs? Just what has been the major crimp inhibiting the expansion of our SMEs?
It would appear from the onset that financing of this sector has been a major ruin. The conditions put up by financial houses for those in SME sectors are so pernicious that it is unthinkable to plan borrowing any money.
This is doubtless the change in meaningful alimentation that the newly formed Zambia Association of Business Development Trainers chairman Henry Chipewo is crying for.
Speaking at the association's annual general meeting in Lusaka yesterday Mr Chipewo said with topmost support to SMEs, even Zambia's current economic annual growth rate of 4.3 per cent in the past 10 years could actually go up to as high as 10 per cent. That sounds exciting!
Mr Chipewo's cry should therefore fall on hearing ears because SMEs, once properly managed, can respond to market trends and ensure that they deliver the goods to their potential.
The success of our SMEs will have a big positive impact on the national economy.
The cottage industries are an incontestable answer to reducing poverty and bettering the general living standards of our people.
But above all, the challenge today is to our lending institutions to quickly realign their lending policies to allow more SME operators access the badly needed funds to expand their operations.
That way Zambia will be moving forward economically.
The Times of Zambia / allAfrica Global Media
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