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Small to Medium Enterprises exhibiting at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair have applauded Government for facilitating their participation.

They said they were able to strike big business deals during the trade showcase.

About 20 SMEs are showcasing their products at ZITF under the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development.

In separate interviews at ZITF grounds, the directors of different SMEs businesses expressed satisfaction with the trade fair outcome.

Mr Tinashe Manyonga from Unique Innovations, a Harare-based firm that specialises in non-electric thermal retention bags, said their stand had received overwhelming response from the public.

“We’re exhibiting here for the second time and we’re really happy with the response that we’ve received from members of the public. People are impressed by our products and we got so many orders,” he said.

“I want to commend the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development for supporting our business and giving us exposure. The ministry facilitated our participation here and paid all the expenses. With the rate at which our business is growing, I’m certain that next year we won’t need financial support.”

Mr Manyonga said the ministry was doing a good job in identifying opportunities for them and linking them with many exhibitions in and out of the country.

The director for Antonio Furnitures from Marondera Mr Everisto Antonio said he was certain that the ZITF would make their business grow tremendously.

“We’ve found a lot of new customers, both individuals and companies. We manufacture a wide range of furniture products which are difficult to ignore. We were nominated to be part of the trade fair by our ministry and we are here for the first time. I am confident that the ZITF will take us to greater heights,” he said.

Mr Hlanganani Mabhena, a director from Nkayi Arts and Crafts, commended the Government for uplifting their business.

He, however, lamented lack of capital.

“Our ministry has really assisted us in uplifting our business. The ZITF has become a g marketing platform for us to get more customers and learn more from other exhibitors,” said Mr Mabhena.

SMEs, which are a major source of employment and generate significant domestic and export earnings, continue to face numerous challenges that include inadequate financial resources, poor networks, unfavourable and restrictive regulations.

Due to their size, they are also constrained by the poor state of infrastructure and lack of effective institutional structures.

The development of the sector is at the heart of the Government’s economic blue-print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).

Source : The Herald