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8th World Investment Forum underway, role of MSMEs under spotlight

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8th World Investment Forum underway, role of MSMEs under spotlight

Story by ZBC Reporter

THE Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has implored governments across the world to prioritise Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as they are key to sustainable development and equitable distribution of resources.

Addressing delegates at the 8th World Investment Forum, which is currently taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 16 to 20 October 2023, Senator Mutsvangwa noted how MSMEs are contributing to the development of nations globally.

“Globally, entrepreneurship is playing a key role in the growth and development of nations and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by fostering innovation, creating jobs, and increasing productivity. Zimbabwe’s MSMEs sector now constitutes more than 90% of all business in Zimbabwe (3.4 million enterprises) and employs more than 80% of the working population (4.8 million full-time employees), the majority of whom are women, the youth and people with disabilities,” she said.

This she said, means that more and more families are now gainfully employed and therefore better placed to fend for their families, ensuring that the quality of life for most Zimbabweans was improving.

She further noted strides by the Zimbabwean government to promote the growth of MSMEs through availing funding opportunities.

“Institutions such as the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation, and Women’s Micro Finance Bank and establishment of SME windows by various financial institutions, furthermore, Zimbabwe’s Central Bank had recently established a Collateral Registry System to facilitate further easy access to credit, encourage economic activity and stimulate growth in the sector. In addition, the formation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) is being encouraged to help communities pool resources together to fund their entrepreneurial activities,” said Senator Mutsvangwa.

The forum, organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Investment (UNCTAD)’s Division on Investment and Enterprise, is running under the theme, ‘Investing in Sustainable Development’, which sits well with Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle-income economy by the year 2030.