Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (Smedi) has embarked on a revenue generation drive by opening a number of businesses and introducing new innovations to its training section.
Some of the innovations include turning some hostels into a lodge, construction of a conference centre and expansion of its fuel service station by adding office spaces and a stopover joint.
Smedi has also constructed green houses for demonstration during trainings to transform the place into a one-stop training centre.
Smedi chief executive officer Rodrick Chattaika said in an interview on the sidelines of the visit by the Parliamentary Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism last week that the move is aimed at broadening the revenue base to ensure that its operations are not interrupted while waiting for government subvention.
“We just felt we cannot be relying on government alone because that will mean giving ourselves a period of inactivity when government delays funding. But with our own sources, we will be operating throughout,” he said.
On his part, the committee’s chairperson Simplex Chithyola Banda said he was impressed with the innovations at Smedi.
He said his committee will facilitate engagement with the Malawi Bureau of Standards to speed up certification processes for the products manufactured at the centre.
“This is one of the government ministries, department and agencies that are showing seriousness in the way they use funds from government,” said Chithyola Banda.
The committee members also inspected processing of briquettes, tomato jam and compost manure making. n