GOVERNMENT says despite facing various challenges, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should consider taking up responsibilities and risks that are critical in developing their businesses.
Minister of Commerce, Trade, and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said SMEs need to reflect on the change they wish to see in their businesses if, they are to develop.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said in a speech read on her behalf by the director domestic, trade and commerce Georgina Kasapatu that Government is aware of the various challenges faced by SMEs that limit their growth.
This was during the official opening of the joint ninth annual SME conference by the Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Associations (ZCSMBA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) under the theme, ‘Opportunities for SMEs in the current business environment’.
“As SMEs, take advantage of this platform. It should not be another business conference as usual, but rather one that is going to transform your mindset and the way of doing businesses. Successful entrepreneurs are always looking for new and better ways of doing things.
“I would like to urge you that there is no time for you to remain static in business otherwise, you run the risk of being run over,” she said.
Earlier, ZCSMBA chairperson William Chisoko said MSMEs need support from various stakeholders, Government, donors and cooperating partners to stimulate growth and expand their businesses.
Mr Chisoko said Government should consider coming with up initiatives that will address various challenges affecting SMEs.
“We would like to appeal to Government to critically look into various issues affecting us such as the high interest rates, markets constraints which includes unfair competition from the outside to mention a few,” he said.
Mr Chisoko also urged SMEs to look for opportunities and networks with their fellow business counterparts to contribute to national development.
Earlier, ACCA Zambia head Mukaba Mukaba said the association is committed in providing financial management training among SMEs as it is a key catalyst to grow their businesses because the sector has the potential to drive economic growth.
“Our main focus is equipping the SME owner managers and executives with the much-needed financial management knowledge and skills to enable them effectively manage their businesses,” he said.