THE SME Association of Zimbabwe will tomorrow host the Local Legends Awards, an event meant to honour and reward micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have excelled in growing their businesses over the course of the year.
The chief executive of the SME Association of Zimbabwe, Farai Mutambanengwe, said the awards will be given to outstanding businesses.
“They are merit-based awards hinged on continuous assessment of the member’s progress in terms of working on particular aspects of their business. We therefore have award categories for issues like compliance (formalisation), risk management, corporate governance, customer service, branding and so on,” he said.

Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni

The first edition of the ceremony was held in 2016.
Women Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni expected to officiate at this year’s event.
Mutambanengwe said the association had suspended the awards ceremony in the intervening period in order to improve its internal monitoring systems to objectively choose winners based on evidence.

“While the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the prevailing general economic environment over the past few years severely affected our MSMEs, 2021 has seen some respite as inflation came down to double-digit levels and there was relative stability in the environment.
“As such, some players within the sector have started to experience growth, although there is need for further improvement in the ease of doing business environment to enable more MSMEs to thrive and grow,” Mutambanengwe said.

He further hailed the parent ministry for its efforts in assisting the growth of MSMEs.
“We are happy that for the second time running the ministry has agreed to partner us in this endeavour and we look forward to continuing to work with them especially on issues highlighted in the National MSME Policy 2020 to 2024.

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