The Old Mutual’s OK Mart complex for small and medium
enterprises in Bulawayo is set to be commissioned in August this year, Business Times can report.
The complex, which is currently being refurbished will accommodate more than 50 SMEs.
Dingani Dlomo, the Bulawayo provincial development officer in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development said the contractor assured them that the complex will be ready in six weeks’ time.
“The contractor gave us a time frame of six weeks so we hope that early August we will finish and commission the structure. We also engaged him so that we can provide labour within the city,” Dlomo said.
“(But), our contractor is coming from outside Bulawayo and they have a tendency of bringing their own people from outside but here the undertaking was that the labour should be obtained here as these are downstream benefits of the investment.”
Most SMEs are not registered, with a recent survey carried out by FinScope Zimbabwe showing that only 15% of them were registered.
Traders in the informal sector have been urged to formalise their operations so that they can access external market benefits.
Dlomo said working on decent spaces would also play a big part in enabling SMEs to formalise their operations.
He said there were 78 SMEs that have registered with the ministry and more people were needed as the complex could accommodate more SMEs.
Government is also looking at establishing SMEs incubation centres throughout the country to accelerate development of start-ups and fledgling entrepreneurs to effectively impact the growth of the economy.