SMEs critical to the development of Middle Class in Malawi

The SME workshop in progressThe SME workshop in progress
The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) has said Small and Medium Enterprises are critical in the development of a middle class in Malawi.
MITC Director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation Joshua Nthakomwa said this in Mzuzu during an industrial workshop on SME sector development.

“SMEs are a critical aspect in developing the missing middle class in our country. If we are to develop that, we need to have vibrant and productive SMEs who will help in job creation and skills development.’ Said Nthakomwa.

Malawi’s SME sector is still in its infancy stage with most of the players facing challenges that undermine their growth potential. Lack of access to finance, access to land, high business operating costs and low production capacities being some of the major challenges facing SMEs in the country.

‘As SMEs we do face a lot of challenges, for instance the taxes that we are being charged from Malawi Revenue Authority are prohibitive to our growth. And on top of that there are multiple licenses that we need to acquire which in turn increases our operating costs thereby reducing our profit margins for further growth.’ Explained one participant to the workshop.

The workshop provided a platform to discuss challenges and opportunities that are available for the SME sector. The participants were taken through presentations on quality and standards, business taxations, capacity development, policy framework and market opportunities for various products.

MITC organized the workshop with funding from the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) project.
The SME workshop in progress

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