Champion Insurance Company promotes growth of MSME sector

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Champion Insurance Company is promoting the growth of the micro, small to medium enterprises (MSME) sector in line with the National Development Strategy (NDS1).

This came out in remarks delivered by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Mr. Moses Mhike at the business risk management and insurance workshop held at Cresta Lodge in Harare on 6 July 2023.

He extended his sincere gratitude to Champion Insurance Company for organising the very important workshop.

“Let me highlight, from the onset that this important collaboration with Champions Insurance Company as well as this workshop come at a time when the Government through the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) has recognised the emergence of the MSME sector in fostering economic growth.

“The MSMEs occupy a strategic position in the achievement of Vision 2030. According to the recently held 2021 MSME survey and the Finscope MSME 2022 survey, there are 3.4 million MSME enterprises employing 4.8 million people and contributing USD8.6 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is also worth noting that under the devolution thrust, MSMEs are significantly contributing to the Provincial GDPs as they constitute the majority of business in all our ten provinces. The sector has become a key vehicle for sustainable socio-economic transformation through value chains in the manufacturing, agro-processing, chemical, retail, and construction sectors among others,” Mr. Mhike said.

As the nation continues to experience rapid growth in the sector, numerous challenges including limited access to finance, inadequate and costly workspaces, informalisation, and lack of business management skills which includes business risks vigilance have been identified as major challenges limiting sustainability and growth of the sector.

The Permanent Secretary said risk management and insurance are key and essential business aspects of MSMEs but are usually neglected.

“This workshop, therefore, comes amid realisation that MSMEs must develop sound risk management programs and utilise appropriate risk transfer mechanisms in order to protect their businesses and enhance their opportunity for business sustainability.

“To mitigate the highlighted challenges, the Ministry is engaging development partners and key institutions pivotal to MSME development with a view to forging partnerships for the implementation of programmes for sustainable growth of the sector. May I applaud Champions Insurance Company for partnering with the Ministry to unmask and demystify this animal called business risk as well as coming up with tangible initiatives towards MSME tailor-made risk management and insurance products. I am sure these products will be helpful in hedging MSMEs against losses from specific contingencies or perils,” he added.

The workshop was aimed at identifying and discussing the key gaps and challenges in mitigating risks that increase the mortality rate of enterprises and maintaining a sense of financial confidence in the face of significant vulnerability.

The inaugural workshop paved the way for other workshops in the remaining nine provinces. Henceforth, Risk Management will be a key component as stakeholders roll out capacity-building programmes for MSMEs and Cooperatives.

“Let me once again thank Champion Insurance Company for not only financially but technically supporting the Ministry`s initiatives in the development of the MSME sector. I would also like to urge other stakeholders to take a leaf from Champions Insurance Company to also come up with programs that enhance the growth of this vibrant sector. Government cannot achieve this mandate alone and hence welcomes such partnerships.”