Business

UK gives support to MSMEs

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has launched an initiative aimed at building and strengthening capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Zambia.
The five-year project, estimated at K140 million, will be driven by the Private Enterprise Programme – Zambia (PEP-Z).
During the launch of the programme on Wednesday, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Robert Sichinga said Zambia has the potential to grow its private enterprise base, but faces a lot of challenges in accessing affordable capital to start and grow their businesses.
Mr Sichinga said there is need for PEP-Z to work with already established synergies like the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to achieve their target.
“Partner with us, do not run the programme for us. I urge you to change gears on how you will collaborate with CEEC and ZDA,” he said.
He said it is important that the programme leaves lasting and tangible results through giving support and resources to entrepreneurs to build their business and the economy.
Earlier, PEP-Z programme manager Bayo Akindeinde said the programme will be implemented through targeted interventions that will identify and enable entrepreneurs with the attitude and willingness to become more competitive.
“By creating the linkages, we can help small businesses become more competitive and grow into larger ones…That is important, not only for the businesses concerned, but for the wider development of Zambia.
“We know that a strong enterprise sector drives job creation and the multiplier effects of that lead to economic prosperity, the building blocks for a better quality of life for all citizens,” he said.
Mr Akindeinde called on stakeholders to partner with PEP-Z if the organisation is to achieve its goal of providing inclusive economic growth through job creation and stimulating of local participation.

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