The Malawi government in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) last week organised a week-long training of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to stimulate competitiveness to create more jobs.
ILO is promoting employment creation by improving competitiveness of SMEs under a project called Technical Support to Enterprises.
In an interview on the sidelines of the training in Lilongwe last week, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism deputy director (private sector development) George Washington Mwase said the training was organised to help business owners acquire skills to help them grow their businesses.
“This programme is integral in the growth of SMEs because it will help business owners to think outside the box and come up with strategic plans. Even the trainers have also gained enough experience and can even train others abroad,” he said.
Mwase said government is providing equipment for the SMEs through the Business Linkage Matching Fund to enable them add value to various products with ease.
“There is a lot that the government is doing for the SMEs and recently we were in Tete [Mozambique] where some SMEs showcased their products. There is huge market for Malawi products in Tete as it is a growing mining town,” he said.
A statement from ILO says the Start and Improve Your Business Programme focuses on growth-oriented enterprises to create more jobs.
Last year, under the same programme, individuals from various institutions and companies were trained to be trainer of trainers.
Reads the statement in part: “This year, the training was taken to the actual SMEs to train them on how to develop business growth, reviewing their vision and how they can reposition themselves and analyse their competitive advantage to better tap into the existing market.”
Two managers who attended the training, Montfort Majawa of Kwithu Kitchen and Patrick Jere of Clips Farming Enterprises, said the training came at the right time when they are embarking on an expansion drive.
Jere said through organic farming, they want to be producing more meat, fruits and fish because people are now health conscious and there is a huge market for organic products. n