The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Certification Scheme which seeks to provide technical assistance to SMEs for accreditation to international standards and to obtain certifications necessary for customer confidence, loyalty and business sustainability, was launched, yesterday, by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SME Mauritius, Mr R. Rampersad, at the headquarters of SME Mauritius, in Port Louis. The Chairman of the Mauritius Standards Bureau (MSB), Mr A. R. Burahee, and the Acting Deputy Director of MSB, Mr Y. Foondun, were also present.
In his address, Mr Rampersad stated that the scheme, launched in collaboration with the MSB, will enable SMEs to better position themselves on the local market, strengthen their competitiveness and eventually export their products and services. Some of the benefits of the Certification Scheme, he added, include increased market share, improved customer perception, confidence and loyalty, as well as cost efficiencies.
The CEO of SME Mauritius recalled that a first batch of some 50 SMEs will benefit from the scheme, whereby they will receive sponsorship from SME Mauritius with regards to training, auditing and acquisition of ISO 9001:2015 or HACCP certification, which will be delivered by the MSB. He added that each SME will have to invest an initial amount of Rs 8 000, which will then be topped-up to Rs 50 000 to Rs 60 000 depending on the costs being incurred under the scheme.
For his part, Mr Burahee, outlined that one of the objectives of the MSB is to promote standardisation and quality assurance in industry and trade. The Bureau, he said, has constantly been involved in the certification and training activities for SMEs, as well as testing of food products manufactured by the latters.
He also said that SMEs will benefit from aligning their operations with ISO 9001:2015 for quality management system. With respect to today's competitive environment, quality, especially for SME, is an important feature that enables enterprises to differentiate themselves from competitors, and increase their market share, he added.