ONLY 14 percent of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are registered or licenced with the business regulatory authorities, despite their being the country’s biggest employer with 4,8 million people engaged on a fulltime basis, a recent survey has revealed.
Contents of the 2021 MSME survey were announced by Vice President, Dr Constantino Chiwenga who was represented by Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister, Cde Stembiso Nyoni, during the MSME recognition and graduation ceremony held last week on Friday at Mutare Showgrounds.
“I have been made aware that the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development in collaboration with Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) recently concluded the 2021 MSME survey. The survey provides pertinent information on the dynamics within the sector, focusing on formalisation, size, employment, business environment, access to finance, workspace provision and contribution to gross value added among others.
“The sector contributes significantly to employment in the country, with over 4,8 million persons engaged on a full-time basis as at December 31, 2021.The sector contributes significantly to the economy, accounting for $522,2 billion in 2021 to Gross Values Added.
“Overall, in 2021, 14,3 percent of the MSMEs were reported as being either registered or licenced with business regulatory authorities which include Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), Registrar of Companies and National Social Security Authority (NSSA), among others. The majority (85,7 percent) of enterprises were not registered, indicating high levels of informality in the sector,” he said.
Vice President Chiwenga noted that Government is developing a formalisation strategy which is expected to guide interventions by various stakeholders so that the transition to formality is accelerated.
The 2021 MSME survey, Vice President Chiwenga said, showed that a total of 3,4 million MSMEs operated in 2021 and these were owned by 4,2 million entrepreneurs.
Harare Province had the highest proportion of MSMEs (14,2 percent) followed by Manicaland and Mashonaland Central accounting for 12,8 and 12,5 percent, respectively.
Vice President Chiwenga saluted the MSMEs for being resilient and ensuring sustainability after the Covid-19 pandemic climax.
“The past two years have been particularly challenging for many of us as we battled against Covid-19. The pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to the business landscape and spared no one, including micro, small and medium enterprises.
“Although the pandemic has receded, it is still with us and we should continue operating with vigilance. I take pride in the sector since it did not collapse due to the devastating effects of the pandemic and remained resilient riding on the usage of technology.”