The Value Chain Business Linkages program is meant to encourage greater interactivity between SMEs and their large counterparts. Specifically, we are looking at large corporations involving SMEs on their production lines, as opposed to merely giving them ancillary roles in providing non-core goods and services. Unlike a lot of business linkages programs that have been run previously, which involved specific areas or particular companies, often on a pilot test basis, this program has a national, all-encompassing perspective.
We are also looking to encourage value chain linkages amongst SMEs themselves, by providing detailed information on what each SME is doing in our business directory and online shop. Our members are thus easily able to identify other SMEs within their value chains (e.g. chicken farmers can pick out restaurants, retailers and caterers). We encourage SMEs to not only register, but to also get testimonials (referrals) from their clients on our website, such that potential clients are able to assess how other customers have rated your service. An example of such referrals can be seen by clicking here.
The program is being run on the basis of bi-annual seminars whose aim is to garner the right support and awareness, as well as on-the-ground interventions in the period between seminars. At each subsequent seminar, progress made in the previous six months will be reviewed, and an action program for the ensuing six months developed. Our aim is to ensure that within two years, we have made a measurable and significant impact on the ground, and particularly on the balance of payments position.
Participation is open to all Zimbabwean SMEs and large corporations. You can download a PDF file with details on the program and how you can participate by clicking here.
The first seminar was held on Tuesday 29 January 2013, in collaboration with the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce. You can download and view some of the presentations made here:
- Negative balance of payments: causes and solutions - Herbert Mazonde, Valuevest Consultants
- Potential to grow SMEs though linkages in Industry and Commerce - Mrs A. Shonhiwa, Perm. Sec, Ministry of Industry & Commerce
- SME Development: Clusters & Initiatives - Mr Chaderopa, Ministry of SMEs and Cooperative Development
- Value Chain Business Linkages: The Manufacturing Sector's Role - Mrs N. Guzha, MD Unilever
- Micro-franchising - Paolo Cernuschi, International Rescue Committee
- Nurturing & Enhancing Sustainable Growth of SMEs - Sebastian Zuze, Director Standards Association of Zimbabwe