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SSCG Hosted Malawi SME Development Conference, on the 25 April 2013, to Discuss Enterprise Growth

19. Jun 2013

Image: Malawi SME Development Conference Delegates, 25 April 2013, Capital Hotel, Lilongwe

On Thursday 25 April, with the support from several government institutions, local banks and development organisations, Sub-Saharan Consulting Group (SSCG) in partnership with Foster Lewis Consulting unveiled Malawi Enterprise Development Programme (MEDP) and mapped out strategies to create employment opportunities, promote enterprise growth, investment flow and entrepreneurship development in Malawi. MEDP has been developed with the objective of harnessing the opportunities in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector to drive inclusive economic growth through skills training and development, job creation and wealth generation. The development of MEDP was guided by similar enterprise development models in Asia, Africa and other developed economies.

The programme was unveiled at The Malawi SME Development Conference 2013 which took place on Thursday 25 April at Capital Hotel, Lilongwe. The Conference attracted diverse industry experts, key note speakers, business leaders and entrepreneurs including Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda, Hon Nerbert Niyrenda, Principal Secretary, Ministry of trade and industry, who gave a remarkable opening speech, Charles Mudiwa, CEO, Standard Bank Malawi, Amos Zaindi, Self Help Africa Country Director, Efrem Chilima, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist for World Bank, Ian Foster, Foster Lewis Consulting Director and Eugene Nizeyimana, Chief Operating Officer for Sub-Saharan Consulting Group, Dr John Mataya and Mr Simfuke, FEMCOM. Also in attendance were representatives from World Food Programme, Department for International Development (Dfid), Indebank, National Bank of Malawi, Malawi Saving Bank, Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) and successful entrepreneurs such as Haroon Sacranie.

In his remarks, Hon Niyrenda said “If we are going to develop Malawi’s economy and turn the country into productive and competitive advantage, one of the most important sectors that we have to focus on developing is the MSME sector such as agri-businesses, tourism, logistics and creative industries“

Hon Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda,Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon Nerbert Niyrenda, Principal Secretary, Ministry of trade and industry and Charles Mudiwa, CEO, Standard Bank Malawi.

During the conference, it was highlighted that despite efforts to improve the enabling environment for Private Sector Development (PSD), Malawi remains a difficult place for enterprises to do business with often overwhelming challenges affecting productivity, growth and competitiveness. Several entrepreneurs and business leaders who attended the conference expressed their frustrations, and emphasised the need for stakeholders to work collaboratively with more needing to be done to improve the business environment, support start-ups and MSMEs access to finance, promote new innovative ideas and the provision of effective Business Development Service (BDS) to foster growth.

Key enterprise development strategic objectives highlighted that need addressing include:

  • To Increase investment in potential and existing growth sectors, and ensure diversified private sector contribution to economic growth and employment creation in the country.
  • To create a conducive environment for effective development and growth of MSMEs.
  • Increase access to credit and finance.
  • To formulate effective private development framework, policies and growth strategies.
  • To promote and develop MSMEs and cooperatives capable of producing high quality goods and services for both domestic and export markets.
  • Facilitate public-private investment partnerships through the creation of appropriate legal environment.
  • Facilitate the provision of Business Support Services (BSS) to existing and new enterprises.
  • To facilitate entrepreneurship within both formal and informal sectors to enhance factor productivity.
  • To enhance industrial and export competitiveness.
  • To facilitate the removal of institutional bottlenecks that impedes business growth.
  • To create business hubs that will facilitate access to advisory services, market information and technology.

In follow up to the conference, SSCG will be hosting a series of activities to address these issues, including:

  • National Business Plan Competition
  • National Enterprise Week in September 2013. A comprehensive week of seminars, business growth clinics, advisory workshops, pitching for investment and National Enterprise Conference.
  • Youth Start-up Week, October 2013.
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week, Malawi, 18 – 24 November 2013. A global one week of showing entrepreneurial ideas, supporting start-ups and promoting entrepreneurship development.
  • National Enterprise Awards, December 2013, to award for business performance excellence, leadership, innovation, hardworking enterprises and break through Start Ups.
  • There will be other related enterprise development projects, as the organisations continue to support and create events, activities and dialogue towards the enhancement of MSMEs and Enterprise development in Malawi.

To ensure the successful implementation of the programme, SSCG will be partnering with diverse institutions including banks, micro finance, development organisations, government bodies, capacity building institutions and business associations to provide specialised training, advisory, mentoring and access to funds to enable more MSMEs to increase their capacity to create jobs, compete in the global market and generate wealth.

For further information and to participate in any of the above fore mentioned activities, contact:

Karen Chinkwita

Tel: + 265 884535612