13 November 2012

East Africa: Comesa Tool Kit to Train 2,500 SMEs

ZAMBIA-COMESA SME Tool Kit in partnership with Zanaco and Barclays Bank Zambia will train more than 2,500 Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME)s in financial management by the end of the year.

Zambia-COMESA SME Tool Kit coordinator Edwin Zulu said his organisation would before the end of the year train more than 2,500 SMEs countrywide.

Mr Zulu said so far SMEs from nine out of the 10 provinces had been training in financial management, saying the only province which was remaining was Lusaka.

He said 30 districts had been covered countrywide, adding that the reason for partnering with the two banks to equip SMEs with knowledge in financial management was because it was the only tool to run their business ventures effectively.

"By the end of 2012, we will train more than 2,500 looking at the number of provinces and districts we have covered so far," Mr Zulu said.

Mr Zulu said financial literacy was critical in enhancing the participation of SMEs in the economy of the country, saying without that their business could not be sustainable.

He said most SMEs when called upon to be trained always thought of loans after getting the training.

"There is a tendency in this country by most of the SMEs where they always expect to get some loans after they have undergone trainings," he said.

Mr Zulu disclosed that his organisation had partnered with Zanaco to carry out many activities during the Global Week of Entrepreneurship by setting up a competition dubbed Zambia Start up Capital Business model under the Global Student Entrepreneurship Award .

The completion seeks to award students who are paying school fees through their own initiative such as running their own businesses.

He said the Global Week of Entrepreneurship would start from November 19 to 26, saying this would be done to encourage those who were doing business and going to school.

Mr Zulu said this was meant to encourage entrepreneurship so that when they graduated, they do not look for employment but continue and expand their business in the area of their study

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