Business mogul Thom Mpinganjira, who is also chief executive officer of FDH Financial Holdings Limited, has accepted to head the board of newly formed Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Smea).
Smea is a grouping of small businesses aiming at building capacity of business owners by engaging economic players to identify and tackle the reasons behind failure of most small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malawi.
Smear president James Chiutsi, in a statement made available to Business News yesterday, said the acceptance of this position alongside other positions in the board, is testimony that these are selfless people who take other peoples plight at heart and will go a long way to serve their nation at all costs.
Other individuals in the board include Dr Ndione Chauluka and Charles Chiotcha, lecturers at the Polytechnic, Evelyn Mwapasa, chief executive officer of Institute of Accountants of Malawi (Icam) and Mirriam Kamoto, a former banker and now businessperson.
“Given the experience and the professional background and achievements of these people, the Malawi populace should rest assured that Smea objectives will definitely be met,” said Chiutsi.
The grouping has thanked all people who expressed interest to serve on the board and has assured them that they will be accorded the opportunity to serve Smea in other portfolios.
Smea has since announced that it will launch on April 4 in Blantyre where the principal secretary for Industry and Trade is expected to be the guest of honour.
The small businesses group wants to help build capacity in business owners and their leaders in business management, leadership and several fields such as consultancy.
According to Chiutsi, this will be done by engaging several Malawian experts to impart knowledge to the SME sector, through seminars and other interactions.
Experts say SMEs have the potential of turning around Malawi’s economy within the next 10 years, and there are other countries endowed with less natural resources than Malawi, but have managed to leap-frog into the fold of the so-called developed world.
Smea will give small businesses a platform for generating their ideas into real business ventures through a vibrant business network.
The association also plans to engage government to implement deliberate policies aimed at developing the SME, sector on issues such as tax levies for start-ups and SMEs and helping small businesses to form joint venture to win large government contracts on Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp), among others.
Already, there are other associations that cater for small businesses such as Economic Empowerment Action Group (Eeag) and Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam), but Chiutsi said their aim is to complement what the others are doing.