MUTARE- Small to Medium Enterprises Development Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni has hinted that government is in the process of getting parliamentary approval to launch a $7 million fund to support SMEs in three provinces of the country.
Addressing a press briefing in Mutare on Thursday, Minister Nyoni said the fund is part of her ministry’s effort to consolidate small enterprise growth in Zimbabwe.
“I’m here under the new thrust of the ministry to consolidate SMEs growth across the country, as a viable alternative of economic growth. I am also introducing the OPEC fund a $7 million credit facility for small enterprises in the natural sector.
“The fund will benefit three province Manicaland, Masvingo and Matebeleland North, on an equal basis but preference will be given to a province that will work harder but rest assured there is $2 million for this province,
“Once we get parliamentary approval and small enterprises go through all modalities, they can funding of up to $50 000 for groups to engage in projects that add value to natural resources,” said Nyoni.
Dr Nyoni said government was engaging in a rural industrialization strategy that is supported by local family business, calling for small players to establish networks and links to ensure their growth and sustainable survival.
“Isolated players are not going to grow, there is need for upstream and downstream linkages amongst the small players to ensure they grow along with their value chains,” she said.
Zimbabwe received $7,6 million from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) which will be channeled towards cooperatives, income generating projects and livestock development.
Dr Nyoni also called for SMEs in the productive sectors to get funding through the $15 million Small Enterprises Development Corporation (Sedco) scheme that was launched last year.