AFFIRMATIVE Action Group (AAG) has urged the government to make funding available for small-to-medium (SMEs) businesses as a way of addressing economic hardships bedeviling the country.
In an interview with Southern Eye Business recently the AAG Matabeleland chapter president Roy Sibanda said economic fortunes of Zimbabwe lie in the informal sector.
“There should be funding to support small-to-medium enterprises in Zimbabwe and this will create more job opportunities for our unemployed youths,” Sibanda said.
“The way forward now is SMEs and it is where our fate is. Large companies have a tendency of taking the money, but fail to expand. If you make funds available to SMEs they can expand and start employing other youths,” he added.
Sibanda made reference to the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) disbursed to more than 26 companies in Bulawayo, saying the firms failed to utilise it wisely.
He said companies that benefited were still struggling to keep afloat. Dimaf was set up in 2010 and launched in October 2011 with the objective of resuscitating ailing companies from Bulawayo and other areas. According to the survey conducted by World Bank in 2012, SME sector plays an important role in addressing Zimbabwean unemployment, by virtue of the 5 700 000 people working in the micro, SME sector.
The survey noted that most of the businesses have been in operation for five or less years, with sustainability and upward mobility being influenced by numerous factors, industry governmental policies and regulations, and many individual characteristics.
They include motivation to start the enterprises, risk tolerance, education and training networks.