The Ministry of Industry and Trade has said the review of the micro, small and medium enterprise policy which stalled because Cabinet wanted some institutional reforms to be included in the new policy
will be in use by mid next year Business News has learnt.
According to the ministry’s spokesperson Wiskes Nkombezi, the policy was taken to Cabinet in 2012 but it was felt that it was not the right time to employ it because it could not have been in tandem with the reality on the ground.
This was so because some institutional reforms had not taken place in organisations such as the Small Enterprises Development of Malawi (Sedom), the Development of Malawian Traders Trust (Dematt) and the Malawian Entrepreneurs Development Institute (Medi).
Sedom), Medi and Demat finally merged to become Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute (Smedi) in 2012.
In an interview in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Nkombezi said as part of efforts to generate data that reflect the current status of small and medium enterprises, government embarked on a survey between 2011 and 2012 to get data to reflect the real status of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
He said the information generated during the survey was used in reviewing the micro small and medium and trade policy to be in line with the current realities of domestic and international trade.
Said Nkombezi: “The survey, which started in 2012, will be of interest to a variety of stakeholders, including policy makers, development partners, support institutions, financial institutions, consulting
firms, education and research institutions among others. The financial institutions, for example, will be able to help SMEs by setting up departments for SMEs because the FinScope survey identified financial
inclusion as one of the problematic areas for SMEs.”
Nkombezi said SMEs should not worry because the policy will take care of their needs.
“We are calling upon Malawians in the private and public sector to help SMEs because they are one of the largest employers. What people should know even the biggest multinational companies started as SMEs. When we talk of foreign direct investment it is not that these companies started big, but they evolved from being SMEs to big companies,” said Nkombezi.