Ethiopia: Bolstering Small Business With Plan


Most of the time Ethiopians that participate in small scale trades are not seen charting out business plans, according to experts in the field and elites. And those who have the bent to plan are pron to copying. What is the reason behind the problem? How could it be solved?

The experts indicate that it is hard to tell whether most citizens engaged in business activities run their business with a plan or not. A question mark hangs over small scale enterprises ' habit of conducting studies and planning.

Instructor of Management at Addis Ababa University(A.A.U) Dr Mathewos Ensermu told EPA journalists that there are some businessmen that start job with a well defined and well organized business plan, while others blindly gets into it without chalking out the plan they conjured up in their heads.

Most of the plans here are traditional ones that mirror each other. Their being on the right track is subject to doubt. Owing to this problem, the reality on the ground is a far cry from what is dictated by modern business.

Those Ethiopians that engage in small scale business most of the time do not have plans. Nor have they an organized plan that takes timely and key information into account.

According to Federal Urban Job Creation and Food Security Agency's Enterprise Development Director Belete Bala, as per the Small and Micro Enterprises development strategic plan set in motion in a refined way since 2011, enterprises organized in group or individually are actively engaging in business ventures preparing business plans.

He seconds Dr Mathewos. Some use plans, while others copy and submit others business plans to secure loan, working shades and shops . Those individuals who run business alone do not seem to have an inkling about business plan and their engagement is divorced from planning.

Business plan begins to enjoy credence in our country in tandem with the strategic plan of Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs)came into life,for the framework also embraces actors of small scale trade.

Yet many are remiss from observing business plan. He attributes the problem to wide information gap pertaining to the importance of business plan. They lack the knowledge needed to prepare the plan and they harbor doubt regarding the pros of business expertise. Besides the expertise sometimes prove shallow. Lack of experience compounds the problem. Dr Mathewos indicates the absence of quality and uptodate data to set a plan and star business. No wonder business plans prepared in such way could be highly dubious. The business industry is at its embryonic stage. The fact that some business men have become profitable working without planning has made others to take business minus planning workable.

Tewabe said if technical support and counseling are given parallel to the sensitization work the culture of running business with plan will develop. There is a call for conducting a thorough research why the businesses in our country are not divided in sectors. Citizens who want to engage in a business venture must enjoy easy access to much -needed information so that they could prepare a business plan.

Begging to differ from Dr.Matheios's point he says starting business arbitrarily and without plan is far from profitable. Citizens engaged in petty trade without plans soon get out of market as they lose their profit too. Aside from wasting their labor and time they will wither away before rendering to their country the required support.

In order to let people engaged in small scale business run their task with plans there is a call for conducting research beforehand on the economic milieu of the country, according to Dr.Mathewos. As the market economy system is still at the embryonic stage here in our country there is a need to conduct a probing research on the changes the business sector is experiencing and facts evidenced these days. Not the necessary data is available on those businesses not permanent.

He is optimistic that registering the required data and doing awareness deepening work, it is possible to let the country's small scale business activities led by plan. Regarding the sensitization work Belete Shares Mathewo's point.

On the government's side the Ethiopian development and research center is conducting studies on job creation mentality or entrepreneurship and on business plan. This move will flicker light to policy makers which path to choose.

Stakeholders in general and universities in particular must support the sensitization work on the preparation of business plan and job creation.

Belete notes that if a business is divorced from plan, product and service's quality could deteriorate. The absence of quality in product and services competitiveness is unthinkable. This will negatively impact the country's economy.

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