By Nobleman Runyanga
This year’s edition of the SMEs International Expo is focusing on the youth and women in addition to its traditional target of players in various sectors of local and international industry and commerce, the Harare Post has established.
Speaking in an interview with the Harare Post, SME International Expo Chief Executive Officer, Delight Makotose indicated that this year’s show, which is set to be held from 23 to 26 October at the Harare International Conference under the theme, “Turnaround, Restructure and Transformation for SMEs in the digital era,” would seek to assist the youth and women to showcase their products and projects.
“Another notable aspect (of this year’s show) is that as the SME International Expo, we are now focussing more on the youth – the young entrepreneurs. We do have these institutions of higher learning where we have students who are coming up with brilliant ideas and projects.
“We want to nurture and we want all these institutions to bring through some of their top projects so that they can be showcased and they can get takers and at the same time protect those innovations,” he said.
Makotose also highlighted that the show which works very closely with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development, would prioritise the provision of space to women in various business pursuits to showcase their products.
“We have innovation hubs that we have created across sectors. We are looking at the individual youth coupled with the women in business and the grassroots woman.
“We want to promote them so that their products can also be showcased and get a good market. We’ve been working together with developmental organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) whereby they also bring a number of women who are into crafts to come and exhibit,” Makotose said.
Makotose disclosed that unlike the previous editions of the show, this year’s would have the concurrent business conference running for two days instead of one. He further indicated that the conference would have local presenters and speakers from as far afield as Senegal to enhance the value of the event.
The show manager indicated that preparations for the exhibition were on course and that 60 percent of available exhibition space had already been taken up.