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‘SMEs have huge role to play in economy’ – UNDP

SMALL to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country have a huge role to play in the economy as they are the future growth drivers of the nation’s economy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says.

In an interview in Bulawayo recently, UNDP Zimbabwe national economist, Ethel Bangwayo said they have since partnered with the Ministry of SMEs to contribute towards assisting them to grow the economy.

She said Zimbabwe is a country of small- and medium-size enterprises who are also the country’s biggest employer.

“We have partnered with the Ministry of SMEs to contribute to helping these SMEs become all they can be to help them grow in order to help the economy the day of big business in Zimbabwe,” said Bangwayo.

Bangwayo said in the past the economy was based on large enterprises but it has since changed to SMEs.

“Historically Zimbabwe’s economy was based on a large enterprises whether in industry or agriculture against the different sectors mainly by the large companies that have been driving the economy but now that is no longer the case we have a lot of SMEs in the country and they are going to be the key towards the economy in terms of growing the economy and being future growth drivers,” Bangwayo said.

She said agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and SMEs can help strength the economy via agriculture.

“I do not know whether its coming back just because of where the situation is at the moment, but when we look at other countries across the world its the SMEs that are driving the economic growth and I really believe Zimbabwe’s SMEs have a large role to play with agriculture being the mainstay of the economy. We think that this is a particular area of strength,” said Bangwayo.

According to reports Small to Medium Enterprises are estimated to be contributing 40 percent of the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP) and in 2014 it was estimated that 5,7 million were employed in the informal sector.

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