HARARE Moses Mhike, Permanent Secretary for Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMEs) applauded Champions Insurance Company for partnering the Ministry to unmask and demystify business risk as well as coming up with tangible initiatives towards MSME tailor-made risk management and insurance products during a business Risk Management and Insurance Workshop today.
The MSMEs occupy a strategic position in the achievement of vision 2030.
According to the recently held 2021 MSME survey and the Finscope MSME 2022 survey there are 3.4 million MSME enterprises employing 4.8 million people and contributing USD8.6 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
It is also worth noting that under the devolution thrust, MSMEs are significantly contributing to the Provincial GDPs as they constitute the majority of business in all our ten provinces.
The sector has become a key vehicle for sustainable socio-economic transformation through value chains in the manufacturing, agro processing, chemical, retail and construction sectors among others.
“Let me highlight, from the onset that this important collaboration with Champions Insurance Company as well as this workshop come at a time when Government through the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) has recognised the emergence of the MSME sector in fostering economic growth”, Mhike said.
Mhike went on to say, “As the nation continues to experience rapid growth in the sector, numerous challenges including limited access to finance, inadequate and costly workspaces, informalisation, and lack of business management skills which includes business risks vigilance have been identified as major challenges limiting sustainability and growth of the sector”.
Risk management and insurance are key and essential business aspects MSMEs are aware of, but usually neglect, said Mhike.
“This workshop therefore comes amid realisation that MSMEs must develop sound risk management programs and utilise appropriate risk transfer mechanisms in order to protect their businesses and enhance their opportunity for business sustainability”, said Mhike.
The Ministry revealed that it is engaging development partners and key institutions pivotal to MSME development with a view to forge partnerships for implementation of programmes for sustainable growth of the sector.
The permanent secretary said that, “I am sure these products will be helpful in hedging MSMEs against losses from specific contingencies or perils”.
The workshop was aimed at identifying and discussing the key gaps and challenges in mitigating risks that increase the mortality rate of our enterprises and maintain a sense of financial confidence in the face of significant vulnerability.
“I am happy that this inaugural workshop today will pave way for other workshops in the remaining nine provinces.
Henceforth, Risk Management will be a key component as we roll out capacity building programmes for MSMEs and Cooperatives”, Mhike promised.
Deliberations were aimed at changing the landscape of the MSME operational environment, to turn around and accelerate the development of the important segment of economy.
Mhike appreciated Champion Insurance Company, “for not only financially but technically supporting the Ministry`s initiatives in the development of the MSME sector”.
Mhike went on “to urge other stakeholders to take a leaf from Champions Insurance Company and also come up with programs that enhance the growth of the vibrant sector”.
Government cannot achieve this mandate alone and hence welcomes such partnerships, Mhike said.