The Small Medium Enterprises Development Institute (SMEDI) on Thursday awarded Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for outstanding business skills.
Fifteen MSMEs received cash prizes of K30, 000 each while the best three went away with cash and a trophy each.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony that took place at SMEDI Enterprise Development Centre in Dowa, Director of Planning in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Francis Zhuwao, commended the award presentation initiative saying it will go a long way in encouraging businesspeople to be creative.
Zhuwao said it is the wish of the Malawi government that the country becomes a predominantly producing and importing nation but this cannot be achieved without the involvement of MSMEs.
He pledged government’s support to MSMEs and encouraged them to look beyond what they can offer adding it is possible for people to set up MSMEs in Malawi despite the many challenges.
“We know that there are many challenges which MSMEs are facing in Malawi.
“Government is currently coming up with MSMEs policy and this will help them access funds. I appeal to financial players in our country to be supporting the MSMEs. At present many MSMEs are concerned that there is no flexibility between the financial sector and MSMEs,” he said.
In his remarks, Board chairman of SMEDI Lance Mbewe said the winners in this year’s SMEDI award have demonstrated unique characteristics that made them stand out.
He said SMEDI want to inculcate a prudent business culture in Malawi and the award is aimed at raising awareness and business skills in the country, besides raising the profiles of successful businesses.
Mbewe said the choice of winners was zeroed on characteristics such as job creativity, simplicity of business idea, passion, vision, poverty eradication and problem solving.
The SMEDI Board Chairman added that many Malawians doing business were potential award winners but due to limited resources, his organization only chose a few.
“Most Malawians running businesses are potential award winners, SMEDI would like to encourage them to continue working hard in their businesses. Due to limited resources, SMEDI was only able to do this,” he said.
He then thanked NBS Bank which donated K500,000 to help in skills training and other institutions such as Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBS) and TEVETA for various support.