The Small and Medium Enterprise Association (Smea) has asked government to do more to develop Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Smea President, James Chiutsi, said small scale industrialisation must be encouraged in order to harness the development within the SME sector.
He said among several other initiatives, the country needs to look at encouraging centres of higher learning to develop curricula that fosters value addition to agriculture raw materials and all those innovations that indirectly aid the same.
Chiutsi said innovation aiming to provide alternative, consistent and reliable energy sources is also another key area that needs to be looked into.
“The renewable energy sources must be developed and encouraged by, among other things, by removing some taxes on Re- Equipment, and train as many Re-Practitioners.
“There is need to ensure that SMEs can access cheaper research and development services (R and D). Clearly, large corporations can afford to pay for their own R and D services, SMEs do not have the same capacity,” he said.
Chiutsi further said the government must ensure that factory shells are constructed for SME use.
“The private sector can also help in this regard, as evidenced by the flea market construction financed by Press Corporation Limited. Factory shells will provide several benefits to SMEs and return on investment will be massive.
“Business developmental services must be encouraged, like providing incentives to large economic players linking there is also need to provide markets, R and D services and possibly training services,” he said.
He also said Smea remains committed to champion the development of SMEs, by among others, working with SMEs as well as large corporations.
Chiutsi said his association will further encourage business planning to consolidate success among business players.
“It has been noted that some enterprises have failed mainly due to absence of good vision and planning. Further, attitude portrayed by some enterprises has been way below standard. Business is certainly tough and a laissez faire attitude has led to serious problems in the SME sector,” he said.