The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malawi (Smea) has said plans are underway to have the association graduate into a chamber of small and medium enterprises in Malawi (Csmem)
The proposed chamber will comprise enterprises that are deemed to be too big to belong to the SME association and too small to belong to the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI).
In an interview with Business News, Smea president James Chiutsi said this will help tackle several challenges facing the SMEs sector in the country.
He said: “A chamber will accord us opportunity to have a full time paid secretariat that will be able to engage with all sorts of stakeholders including government on a more professional level”
Chiutsi added that the organisational set up of the executive committees and offices in Smea which is all voluntary breeds a lot of disconnect as officers own businesses and takes precedence to critical association business.
He further explained that some partners including financial institutions do not see Smea as a going concern due to the lack of a secretariat hence the need to set up a professional body capable of handling the diverse business needs of the global business activities.
Small and medium enterprises development institute (Smedi) director of business information and training Edward Chilima is on record having said the financial sector in the country continues to shun SME’s.
“This is despite efforts to grow the sector mainly because of high default rates and the size of their businesses,” Chilima said.