Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises expressed its gratitude on the sterling work being done by Core Foundation’s youthful team towards the development of start-ups and small to medium enterprises in the country.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and Core Foundation, Mrs Evelyn Ndlovu, the Ministry’s Secretary acknowledged the efforts by Core Foundation to improve livelihoods in Zimbabwe.
The signing ceremony was done at the Ministry’s Head Office in Harare recently.
Core Foundation is a local social entrepreneurship organization that focusses on entrepreneurship development, wealth creation, skills development, venture capital as well as rural and enterprise development.
Mrs Ndlovu described Core Foundation as a group of young people who have taken it upon themselves to come up with brilliant ideas of partnering with the government in order to improve the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.
She encouraged other young people to come up with such innovative ideas and initiatives which the Ministry can also partner.
“The signing of this MOU marks the beginning of a strong close relationship between these young people and this Ministry” she said.
Core Foundation’s engagement with the Ministry of SMEs is meant to facilitate the development of start-ups and small businesses through resource mobilization, creation of incubators, business linkages, trade promotion and nurturing of the entrepreneurial culture.
Last year, the Core Foundation spearheaded the hosting of the second National Steering Committee on Formalisation of the Informal Sector, which was a stakeholder’s consultative forum on coming up with strategies on regulating the activities of informal business players.
Mr Alvin Nyika, the founder and chairman of the foundation expressed gratitude towards the support and partnership that the Ministry has been giving them in their previous various developmental initiatives.
“We are working together in order to promote the work of the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises towards helping the intended beneficiaries in the community.” Said Mr Nyika
He also added that his organization has a charitable arm that is responsible for giving support to the vulnerable members of the community.
During the signing ceremony of this Memorandum of Understanding, it was also noted that Cooperatives are an important aspect of the SME sector and thus must be recognized and be promoted.
Mrs Ndlovu said that cooperatives are a collective enterprise which generates jobs and creates many beneficiaries along the way and therefore such initiatives deserves attention and support.
“We want cooperatives to also enter into the agricultural and manufacturing sector since cooperatives have the power of collective thinking” Mrs Ndlovu added.
The government’s gesture towards calling for partnership in the development of the economy especially by recognising and supporting other players in the promotion of SMEs is a welcome development.
This is because, currently, Zimbabwe’s economy has been negatively affected in various ways thus causing many people especially the young ones to find it difficult to get a decent and rewarding job.
Such people are thus resorting to starting their own initiatives towards survival and wealth creation which in turn means that the majority of the working population will be absorbed by the SME sector.
It is widely believed that small to medium enterprises plays a critical role in the sustenance and development of economies globally but unfortunately the majority of these initiatives fail because of lack of finance and the relevant knowledge to professionally run businesses.
As such, when the youth themselves do partner the government to spearhead the creation of a conducive environment for the development of SMEs as was demonstrated by Core Foundation, it shows the extent of inclusivity that is being adopted in the sector.
Financial institutions have also registered their interest to be involved in the development of small to medium enterprises in Zimbabwe.
This was revealed by Mrs Evelyn Ndlovu who said that prior to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Core Foundation, she was engaged in a breakfast meeting with players in Zimbabwe’ financial sector with regards to SMEs as well.
By Brian Kazungu