The Minister of Industry Roy Kachale Banda has called for enhanced collaboration and united voice among micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Malawi.
Kachale emphasized that unity and speaking with one voice is critical in addressing challenges that affect the growth of SMEs in the country.
The minister made the sentiments at two separate meetings he held with the Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises and the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises to discuss state of Affairs in the two institutions and ways to improve areas that need support.
The meetings took place in the past week.
Kachale observed that there are a number of SME associations claiming to advance agenda of SMEs, but with negligible impact on the ground.
“There are a number of institutions claiming to fight for development of SMEs, but their efforts do not yield desired results because they do not speak with one voice. You need to sit down and address this; come up with an umbrella body that will represent the wishes of all SMEs,” he said.
SME Chamber Executive Secretary James Chiutsi said they are planning to focus their membership on using sector approach where people should be encouraged to join specific sector associations.
The minister supported this idea. It was revealed during the meetings that some SMEs do not pay subscription fees to the chamber.
This is said to be crippling operations of the chamber, which currently does not have permanent offices due to lack of funds.
Nevertheless, the chamber said it is ready to offer trainings and mentorship programmes to their members.