Enacy Mapakame: Business Reporter
At least 30 percent of businesses operating in the country have an annual turnover of around $5 000 and employ at most four people while 2 percent have more than $1 million in annual turnover, a 2015 Central Business Register reveals. The CBR is a database of business establishments in Zimbabwe containing information such as name and address of business, number of employees, main economic activity, sector to which they belong, wages, salaries and turnover among other variables.The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency carried out its first CBR inquiry between August 2013 and June 2014 with technical and financial support from Government and the United States Agency for International Development through the Strategic Economic Research and Analysis programme.
The survey looked at entities (excluding those in agriculture) that were operating between January 2012 and December 2012 and a total 39 757 questionnaires were recovered representing a national response rate of 88,3 percent.
According to the survey report, of the 39 757 companies that participated, 82 percent of them, have less than four employees while nearly 63 percent of the surveyed companies operated as household enterprises.
Following an economic downturn spanning over a decade, industry significantly downsized operations while other companies eventually closed due to cash constraints, low foreign direct investment, outdated equipment and low demand.
This however, led to a boom in the SMEs sector, which now employs over 80 percent of the country’s employable population. Of the surveyed entities, about 57 percent were in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motor cycle section. The manufacturing sector was second with 13 percent.
The least number of establishments was in mining and quarrying, electricity, gas steam and air conditioning, water supply, sewerage, waste management, construction, arts, entertainment and recreation industries and real estate activities.
Provincial distribution of establishments showed that Manicaland had the highest number of operating establishments at 15 percent while Matabeleland North had the lowest number at 6,6 percent.
Distribution of companies as classified by major towns show that Harare had the highest number at 4 695 with the least found in Hwange at 302.
Official figures also show that about 64 percent of establishments had the majority of their shares owned by males, 17 by females while about 15 percent reported equal share ownership between both sexes.