In its quest to build a strong small and medium enterprises (SMEs) base, Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) this week set out to build SME capacity in various areas by equipping them with business management know-how.
Ecam executive director, Beyani Munthali, indicated that their two-day workshop for SMEs held last week in Blantyre was aimed at building the entrepreneurs’ capacity in business, financial and labour relations management.
Munthali said Ecam aims to continue addressing the needs of SMEs as well as their development.
“It is within our mandate under the International Labour Organisation (ILO) structure to support SMEs who are employers. Looking at the economic challenges Malawi is facing, it is appropriate that proactive measures be carried out to prepare businesses. The training was meant to equip SMEs with the know-how of managing businesses in tough and booming times to ensure sustainable enterprises,” said Munthali.
He further said the employers’ organisation is complementing government’s efforts through such programmes. Munthali noted that government has already launched SME survey results which will inform the upcoming SME policy on the current environment in which SMEs operate, their competitiveness, and the challenges affecting their growth and profitability.
Ecam has been running projects for SMEs this year as one of its mandates. This, according to Munthali, has resulted in an increased commitment from international partners for technical and financial support.
He also indicated that the organisation has worked closely with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises assessment.
The director added that Ecam will continue to have frequent and improved relationships with other stakeholders including Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as other trade associations and unions in addressing the decent work country programme.
Launched in August 2011, the Malawi Decent Work Country Programme of which Ecam is a signatory has three priority areas which include creating more and better employment and income generation opportunities; enhancing and extending the coverage of social protection; and building the capacities of the Government and social partners to improve service delivery.