On Thursday next week, the Chamber for Small and Medium Business Associations is expected to be officially launched and the body will, among others, advocate and lobby for the creation of a favourable environment for SMEs to thrive.
The chamber is expected to be all encompassing taking on board different enterprises and SME associations and will be run on membership basis.
A task force that was set up last year in October has been on the ground and says it has worked extensively with the Zambia Chamber for Small and Medium Business Associations for an insight into the requirements to effectively run such a body.
Executive Secretary for the interim board, James Chiutsi, said the chamber will not be a briefcase association but that it will be a going concern complete with a full-time secretariat.
“The chamber is working on a strategic plan to guide it for the next five years and shall reach out extensively to its members for input,” he said.
Growth of the SMEs sector in Malawi has been very slow owing to challenges top of which is limited access to finance. The problem has escalated further as most [SMEs] operate in isolation, a thing the chamber hopes to address.
“The increase in the number of small businesses that are forced out of business has been due to various challenges SMEs face ranging from economical to physical. However, most of these challenges can best be dealt, if SMEs can collectively work together and speak with one voice.
“The SME chamber will, therefore, create a platform, where all SMEs can interact,” Chiutsi said.
According to Chiutsi, the body will also be key to linking SMEs to stakeholders, such as the government, donor community, Non-Governmental Organisations, among other technical working groups.
Prime Insurance and FDH Bank are some of the sponsors of the official launch ceremony scheduled to take place at Lilongwe Capital Hotel.
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