BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
LOCAL artiste-cum director of MegProm Trading, a company that specialises in Kapenta from Mozambique, Ashlee Nyathi has urged government to continuously support the small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) sector that accounts for about 50% of the country’s gross domestic product and employs the majority of the country’s population.
Financing of local SMEs has been a major challenge in Zimbabwe.
In an interview with Standard Style, Nyathi said the current economic decay has not spared the SMEs sector that is sustaining the country’s economy as well as other projects that would change the lives of youths
“Our government needs to continuously support young businesses to foster and grow the SME space on a sustainable basis. It is no secret that SMEs are sustaining many economies worldwide and here in Zimbabwe, we contribute meaningfully to the economy despite lack of capital and inadequate government support,” Nyathi said.
“The sector has shown resilience and it helped sustain the livelihoods of many as well as the economy when the bigger corporates are in distress with some having closed due to the prevailing economic challenges.”
Nyathi said SMEs have remained starved of bank facilities notwithstanding the fact that the country’s economy is driven by the informal sector.
“Access to finance is a major obstacle to SMEs growth. The challenges also include higher transaction costs emanating from processing of many small loans and difficulties in accurately assessing SMEs cash flows,” he said.
Meanwhile, through his MagProm Trading Nyathi is set to breathe life into aspiring young dancers from high-density suburbs.
“I seek to contribute towards the growth of the country’s dance industry as I am passionate about grooming young dancers having realised that most talent search programmes in the country do not cater for dancers,” he said.
“I understand how it feels to have a talent and not be able to utilise it. There are many talented dancers that are failing to make breakthroughs because they are not being recognised. There is need to grow the arts industry by encouraging people to promote other genres that are within the arts sector.”