By Stanley James, Business Editor
The number of bank accounts opened by small and medium enterprises has gone beyond 140 000, reflecting commitment by the sector to embracing formal banking channels.
This was revealed when the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni delivered a paper entitled Employment Opportunities and Stimulating Sustainable Economic Growth through SME’s at the Zimbabwe National Army Joint Command Course Number 35.
Dr Nyoni revealed how the emerging industry is embracing the financial inclusion policy through opening of bank accounts.
“Financial inclusion is also on the rise with the number of SME’s with bank accounts increasing from 116 467 as at December 2019 to 139 902 by December 2020. However, the credit extended to the sector constitute a paltry 3,66 percent of the entire banking sector loans and advances,” Dr Nyoni said.
Despite COVID-19 setbacks, SMEs defied market expectations in terms of overall growth and employment creation.
It revealed that in Zimbabwe the SMEs sector now employs over 60 percent of productive workforce, contributing 50 percent of GDP and constituting 70 percent of business across the country.