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Entrepreneur bemoans Covid-19 effects on SMEs

Young entrepreneur Ashlee Nyathi has lamented the blow of Covid-19 on small and medium scale enterprises saying it will be difficult for many that are not dealing in basic commodities to find their footing again.

Staff Writer

Nyathi leads a group of young entrepreneurs that are into fishery and he shared some of the difficulties small businesses in the trade are facing due to the virus.

After an online discussion with some members in their business circle, the 23-year-old entrepreneur said most of them were finding it difficult to take their operations back to normal.

“The Covid-19 virus has changed people’s lives. We held a discussion with other youths in small fishery businesses and they say they are finding it hard to get their trade back on track,” said Nyathi.

“Although the markets have been opened, the volume of sales have massively declined. Some of our consumers are still finding it difficult to travel to the markets because of the lockdown.

Some of our supplies that were coming from outside the country cannot be delivered. It is still a big challenge.”
Nyathi specializes in kapenta business and mostly imports his supplies from Mozambique.

“Personally, my business has been affected because of closure of imports. I also supply markets in South Africa, Botswana and DRC, but all those ventures are on hold at the moment. I wanted to open a number of new shops, but I cannot do it now,” he said.

Nyathi said it was good that the government had opened the markets and they are hoping for a gradual improvement on the business activity if lockdown restrictions are further loosened.

He said he is hopeful that financial support that government promised to hard-hit SMEs will help them rise from the effects of Covid-19.

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