By ZBC Reporter
THE relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown regulations has come as a huge relief to Small and medium scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) in Bulawayo who are burning the midnight oil to increase production and their market share.
The opening up of various sectors as government prioritises economic growth despite the Covid-19 pandemic has come with new opportunities for Small and medium scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) who now claim a huge market share in various subdivisions which include clothing and textile as well as engineering and metal fabrication.
The clothing sector is flourishing as business-people have upgraded their operations and are now supplying schools, industry and retail outlets with quality garments.
“We are the industry now and we are supplying quality products to the market and we feel that if all small businesses could push so that we capture the entire market and chock the import of cloths from other countries this will have a double impact to the economy where we have employment and local products.
“We started at a base level and while we still have a long way to go, we are happy to be doing it ourselves for our country and creating new products using the skills we got when big companies were operational,” they said.
The engineering and metal fabrication is equally competitive as it continues to acquire machinery to measure up to the demands of the market.
“We are following the current trends where brass products are the in-thing in construction and we have acquired machinery for to produce these products and as young people we are making an impact in the economy because the environment is conducive to business,” he said.
Other small scale business people spoke on the need for support and a review of government’s tender system to align it with the devolution agenda.
“We want a change that shows that devolution is the new approach in government and business so local tenders must benefit locals, we can’t afford to have local business opportunities being taken away from us it must be deliberate that they are given to us so that we grow and expand and we also want government to contract us as well because we have the capacity,” they said.
The approach by small businesses in Bulawayo resonates well with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe is open for business mantra and the national vision of an upper middle income economy by 2030.