News Column

Micro-Finance Summit Set for Next Month

February 13, 2014

Paidamoyo Nyakudzambara

ZIMBABWE will next month host its second SME banking and micro-finance summit in the capital Harare to discuss funding and growth opportunities for the sector. The summit, to run under the theme "Towards Inclusive Growth," from March 24 to March 25 is being coordinated by a local advisory firm Deat Capital in collaboration with the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives Development.

In a statement yesterday, Deat Capital managing director Mr Nicky Moyo said the two day summit will run concurrently with various sideline workshops on SME development.

"This year's event will be expanded to two days with sideline masters class workshops focused on development of Zimbabwe MSMEs with topics such as trade finance for SMEs , inclusive business and value chain financing , marketing and brand management for MSMEs, business and strategic planning for MSMEs, and fundraising for micro-finance institutions being discussed," said Mr Moyo. The conference will also focus on expanding SME banking, micro-finance and micro insurance services. It will feature banking and insurance executives, financial sector authorities, expert panels of bankers and international development specialists.

It will also focus on insurance services examining the opportunities and challenges to taking SME banking, micro-finance and micro insurance to scale. Speakers expected for the summit include SMEs and Cooperatives Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni who will officially open the event, acting Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr Charity Dhliwayo, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president Mr George Guvamatanga and Mrs Gladys Kanyongo, the general manager for the Small Enterprises Development Corporation.

Survey data from various studies demonstrate that some banks, microfinance and insurance firms are now targeting SMEs as a profitable segment of the economy.

Micro, small and medium enterprises play a vital role in the country's economic development by increasing competition, fostering innovation and generating employment.

In Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular, as in many other developing and transition economies, SMEs employ the largest percentage of workers. However, in Africa and Zimbabwe, these enterprises' contribution to gross domestic product is significantly lower than anywhere else in the world while they contribute to up to 50 percent of GDP for high-income countries, the percentage in Africa remains below 10 percent for various reasons.

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Source: AllAfrica

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