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COHORT: MBA12 (DL)
MBA 24 – Entrepreneurship
SUBJECT: ASSIGNMENT NO
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No longer are small businesses limited to pursuing customers within their own borders. Zambian small business owners can now also look for business opportunities outside Zambia. The shift to a global economy has opened the door to tremendous business opportunities for Zambian Entrepreneurs willing to reach across the globe. Although going global can be fraught with dangers and problems, many local entrepreneurs are discovering that selling their products and services in foreign markets is really not that difficult. Critically evaluate the above analogy, by focusing your points on:
Barriers inhibiting Zambian small scale entrepreneurs from having global market access.
(2) The Zambian government initiatives in promoting exports from the small scale sector of the Economy.
The response of Zambian small scale business owners to global market access
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ASSIGNMENT BRIEF................................................................................................................... 1 Contents ..................................................................................................................................... 3 Introduction............................................................................................................................... 4 Uneven IT Awareness and Management Skill; As company grows, new managers are often introduced into the company. There will also be old managers who are promoted from the rank and file. Some of these managers may not been trained in the leadership and management skill. These uneven skill among the managers often caused conflicts during the implementation.......................................................................................................................... 7 Lack of Financial Resources; As a SME/SMI, financial resources are often limited. This often forces company to select a solution, which appear to be cheap initially. However, the hidden costs will start to emerge during implementation. This sometime causes the project to be abandoned or sometime sent the company into further financial crisis.....................................8 Lack of Experience of Using Consultants; A good consultant often saves time and effort, and help to prevent pitfalls during the IT projects. However, most SMEslack experience in working with consultants. The lack of knowledge in the field of IT makes it difficult for SMEs to identify good consultants for the different projects. SMEs often feel that the consultant costs are too high and they can handle problems with their own staff. If the company has no staff that are experience and knowledgeable in the IT project, avoiding external help often costs more to the company eventually.................................................................................................................... 8 The Small Aggregation Initiative (SAI)....................................................................................... 8 Entrepreneur and Technology (Empretec) Programme............................................................10 Economic Empowerment through MSME Development...........................................................10 Business Development Services Voucher Programme (BDS).....................................................11 Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE).................................................................................................12 Conclusion and Recommendations .......................................................................................... 14 One major question we should pose is: what solution can be offered to the plight of small enterprises in Zambia? For one, policies should aim to encourage and promote the development of local technologies. Emphasis should be on the promotion of the local tool industry to reduce reliance on imports. SMEs are said to face a "liability of smallness." Because of their size and resource limitations, they are unable to develop new technologies or to make vital changes in existing ones. Still, there is evidence that SMEs have the potential to initiate 3
minor technological innovations to suit their circumstances. However, for SMEs to fully develop and use this potential, they need specific policy measures to ensure that technology services and infrastructure are provided. Further, research and development institutions that are publicly funded should be encouraged to target the technology needs of SMEs. Secondly, the problem of access to information may be attributed to the inadequacy of SME support institutions. This points to the need for a supportive policy to encourage the establishment of documentation centers and information networks to provide information to SMEs at an affordable price. Thirdly, the government should come up with training centers for training managerial and technical courses for the small enterprises entrepreneurs. Equally, there should be business information centers. Fourthly, government should come up with proper regulatory policies that are small enterprises friendly since many of what we have in Zambia, frustrates every effort of a junior entrepreneur. The policies we have seem to care for the wellestablished businesses. Since majority of small enterprises lack finance, government should establish friendly small loaning system. This would include low interests rates to ensure the continuity of these businesses. SMEs have the potentiality of transforming the economy of a crippling nation. As such, every effort should be made to boost their growth...........................14 References................................................................................................................................. 15
Introduction The SME sector is arguably the lifeline of the Zambian economy, because it is the largest domain for employment creation and service provision especially in areas which the larger-scale sector shuns. It is understood that SMEs constitute about 90 per cent of the companies in Zambia. Some estimates and indicators, though not well documented, reveal that the SMEs sub sector around Kamwala trading area, are able to make well over K10 billion per month, which is usually not accounted for in terms of tax payments (postzambia; 2009). It is not surprising therefore that the country’s economic development agenda which has been anchored on the development and expansion of the private sector, places a lot of emphasis on the development of the SME sector. Through the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP), the Vision 2030, the Private Sector Development (PSD) Reform Action Plan of 2004, and the Financial Sector Development Programme (FSDP), among other guiding instruments, the country is set to become a middle income country by 2030, but with the key message that the SMEs sector plays its full role. Yet, the SMEs face a myriad of
challenges in their quest to grow, chiefly being financial. These challenges have become a chorus in many a discussion fora, with different prescriptions being recommended. Barriers inhibiting Zambian small scale entrepreneurs from having global market access It is generally recognized that SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) face unique challenges, which affect their growth and profitability and hence, diminish their ability to contribute effectively to sustainable development. In this article, the following challenges are briefly discussed: Lack of Managerial Training and Experience, Inadequate Education and Skills, Lack of Credit, National Policy and Regulatory Environment, Technological Change, Poor Infrastructure, Scanty Markets information and a few other reasons. Lack of Managerial Training and Experience -Many SMEs owners or managers lack managerial training and experience. The typical owner or managers of small businesses develop their own approach to management, through a process of trial and error. As a result, their management style is likely to be more intuitive than analytical, more concerned with day-to-day operations than long-term issues, and more opportunistic than strategic in its concept (Hill 1987). Although this attitude is the key strength at the start-up stage of the enterprise because it provides the creativity needed, it may present problems when complex decisions have to be made. A consequence of poor managerial ability is that SME owners are ill prepared to face changes in the business environment and to plan appropriate changes in technology. Majority of those who run SMEs are ordinary lot whose educational background is lacking. Hence they may not well be equipped to carry out managerial routines for their enterprises (King and McGrath 2002). Inadequate Education and Skills: Education and skills are needed to run micro and small enterprises. Research shows that majority of people carrying out micro and small enterprises in Zambia are not quite well equipped in terms of education and skills. Study suggests that those with more education and training are more likely to be successful in the SME sector (King and McGrath 2002). As such, for small businesses to do well in Zambia, people need to be well informed in terms of skills and management. SMEs in ICT appear to be doing well with the sprouting of many commercial colleges offering various computer applications. Further, studies show that most of those running SMEs in this sector have at least attained college level education (Wanjohi and Mugure, 2008).
Lack of Credit Lack of access to credit is almost universally indicated as a key problem for SMEs. This affects technology choice by limiting the number of alternatives that can be considered. Many SMEs may use an inappropriate technology because it is the only one they can afford. In some cases, even where credit is available, the entrepreneur may lack freedom of choice because the lending conditions may force the purchase of heavy, immovable equipment that can serve as collateral for the loan. Credit constraints operate in variety of ways in Zambia where undeveloped capital market forces entrepreneurs to rely on self-financing or borrowing from friends or relatives. Lack of access to longterm credit for small enterprises forces them to rely on high cost short term finance. There are various other financial challenges that face small enterprises. They include the high cost of credit, high bank charges and fees. The scenario witnessed in Zambia particularly during the climaxing period of the year 2008 testifies the need for credit among the common and low earning entrepreneurs. Numerous money lenders in the name of Pyramid schemes came up, promising hope among the ‘little investors,’ that they can make it to the financial freedom through soft borrowing. The rationale behind turning to these schemes among a good number of entrepreneurs is mainly to seek alternatives and soft credit with low interest rates while making profits. Financial constraint remains a major challenge facing SMEs in Zambia (Wanjohi and Mugure, 2008). National Policy and Regulatory Environment The national policy and regulatory environment has an important impact on technology decisions at the enterprise level. The Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) implemented in many African countries are aimed at removing heavy policy distortions, which have been viewed as detrimental to the growth of the private sector. SAPs tend to severely affect vulnerable groups in the short run and have been associated with the worsening living conditions in many African countries (USAID 1991). The findings in the study by Wanjohi and Mugure (2008) indicate that business environment is among the key factors that affect the growth of MSEs. Unpredictable government policies coupled with ‘grand corruption,’ high taxation rates, all continue to pose great threat, not only to the sustainability of SMEs but also to the Zambian economy that was gaining momentum after decades of wastage during the one party era. Technological Change; Change of technology has posed a great challenge to small businesses. Since the mid-1990s there has been a growing concern about the impact of technological change on the work of micro and small enterprises. Even with change in technology, many small business entrepreneurs appear to be unfamiliar with new technologies. Those who seem to be well positioned, they are most often unaware of this technology and if they know, it is not either locally available or not
affordable or not situated to local conditions. Foreign firms still remain in the forefront in accessing the new technologies. In most of the African nations, Zambia inclusive, the challenge of connecting indigenous small enterprises with foreign investors and speeding up technological upgrading still persists (Muteti, 2005). There is digital divide between the rural and urban Zambia. With no power supply in most of the rural areas, it is next to impossible to have Internet connectivity and access to information and networks that are core in any enterprise. Thus technological change, though meant to bring about economic change even among the rural lot, does not appear to answer to the plight of the rural entrepreneurs. In the same vein, SMEs fail to attract good IT personnel. This is because IT personnel are in high demand and are often attracted to bigger companies. It is very difficult for SMEs to attract good IT personnel. It is even more difficult to retain them. Moreover, good IT personnel are expensive and may not be affordable by most SMEs. Many of the employees in SMEs started from the ground up after working with the company for many years. Some of them are often holding supervisory and managerial positions. These employees may not be IT literate and often have high resistance to the changes in the working process that they are comfortable with after many years. Uneven IT Awareness and Management Skill; As company grows, new managers are often introduced into the company. There will also be old managers who are promoted from the rank and file. Some of these managers may not been trained in the leadership and management skill. These uneven skill among the managers often caused conflicts during the implementation.
Poor Infrastructures; Poor infrastructures pose a major challenge to small enterprises in Zambia. In Zambia, the provision of better infrastructures has lagged behind over years. There are poor roads, inadequate electricity supply. Zambia still stands in need of better infrastructures. It has been the pledge of the MMD government (when it took over from UNIP in 1991) to improve the infrastructures, but there is yet much to be done. Scanty Markets Information; Lack of sufficient market information poses a great challenge to small enterprises. Despite the vast amount of trade-related information available and the possibility of accessing national and international databases, many small enterprises continue to rely heavily on private or even physical contacts for market related information. This is due to inability to interpret the statistical data (Muteti, 2005) and poor connectivity especially in rural areas. Since there is vast
amount of information and only lack of statistical knowledge to interpret and Internet connectivity, small enterprises entrepreneurs need to be supported. With connectivity being enhanced (by connecting Zambia globally through Fiber Optic Cable project) there is renewed hope for the SMEs. Lack of Formal Procedure and Discipline: Most SMEs do not have formal procedure or often these are not documented. Furthermore, there is tendency for these procedures to change frequently. This makes it difficult for third party and newcomer to understand the existing business practices and match them with the IT process. Lack of Financial Resources; As a SME/SMI, financial resources are often limited. This often forces company to select a solution, which appear to be cheap initially. However, the hidden costs will start to emerge during implementation. This sometime causes the project to be abandoned or sometime sent the company into further financial crisis. Lack of Human Resources; Implementations of some bigger scale IT project especially those that involve business process across different departments or require large amount of initial data entries require human resource during the implementation. Some SMEs are often in the stage of frequent fire fighting and shortage of manpower. This makes it very difficult for them to allocate time to carry out implementation. Furthermore, there is always a conflict between getting the daily routing work going and to do the “Extra” IT implementation. Lack of Experience of Using Consultants; A good consultant often saves time and effort, and help to prevent pitfalls during the IT projects. However, most SMEslack experience in working with consultants. The lack of knowledge in the field of IT makes it difficult for SMEs to identify good consultants for the different projects. SMEs often feel that the consultant costs are too high and they can handle problems with their own staff. company eventually If the company has no staff that are experience and knowledgeable in the IT project, avoiding external help often costs more to the
The Zambian government initiatives in promoting exports from the small scale sector of the Economy.
The Small Aggregation Initiative (SAI) Zambia mostly depends on micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in driving its economy forward. However, most of these SMEs in the past received lukewarm support from government until
now. Nevertheless, a few SMEs are thriving and greatly contribute to economic growth, employment creation and national development in combating poverty. In order to facilitate industrial development through unlocking the potential of its SME sector, Zambia is learning from Southern Asian countries (especially Malaysia). “Malaysia and Zambia were at the same level of economic development in the 1960s and 70s in terms of per capita incomes, but Zambia has remained behind economically and its manufacturing sector has not faired well as if both countries did not have similar initial endowments” (ZDA website; 2009).It therefore becomes imperative that Zambia learn from such countries on how they managed to take-off economically with a focus on SME development. Training (education), research and development, market availability and technological advancement through establishment of industrial linkages as well as the formation of Small Aggregate Initiative (SAI) were some of the outstanding strategies Zambia identified that could be used as a “key” to unlock SMEs’ potential as the country strives to meet some national and United Nations targets such as Millennium Development Goals in particular halving its poverty levels by 2015 and releasing its vision of becoming a middle income by 2030. The Small Aggregation Initiative (SAI) is a Malaysian initiative that was proposed to Zambia for implementation through the Triangle of Hope initiative to bolster economic growth through SMEs. SMEs wish to expand but they face numerous constraints such as lack of credit among others (ZDA website, 2009). However, even when they get funds, the new machinery and equipment they acquire sometimes are “too productive” for limited needs. That is, they may have a market for 100 pieces but the new machinery now produces 500 pieces. In such a situation the government or the private sector may come in to help. How do they do it? By selecting an industry group that has similar needs of machinery, but where the end products are different, for example cupboards kitchen furniture, office furniture and the like, the initial machinery will be similar - sawing, planning or shaping, only the end product/finishing section will be different. The small aggregate initiative also looks at ways of providing loans to SMEs. The initiative thus promotes collaboration with the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and other SME funding agencies to facilitate the acquisition of loans by SMEs. This initiative is aimed at
promoting SME activities in export and domestic oriented sectors and also to help stimulate growth of SMEs.
Entrepreneur and Technology (Empretec) Programme The Entrepreneur and Technology (Empretec) programme is an integrated capacity-building programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (unctadxi Website; 2009) The programme promotes the creation of sustainable support structures that help promising entrepreneurs build innovative and internationally competitive small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Empretec also encourages the formation of mutually beneficial business linkages among SMEs and Trans-national Corporations (TNCs). As a result, it contributes to the creation of a dynamic private sector and an open entrepreneurial culture. It is therefore a vital complement to effective macroeconomic policies and enabling legal and regulatory framework. The term Empretec, which is a Spanish acronym for emprendedores (entrepreneurs) and tecnologìa (technology) was first introduced in Argentina in 1988, with the core objective of holding entrepreneurship training workshops (ETWs). This programme was introduced in Zambia in 2008 is an integrated training programme of the UNCTAD in the area of SMEs and entrepreneurship skills promotion and dedicated to helping promising entrepreneurs put their ideas into action and fledgling businesses to grow (Post newspaper 2008) Economic Empowerment through MSME Development Zambia’s long-term development objective, as articulated in the National Vision 2030, is “to become a prosperous middle income country by the year 2030.” The associated goals call for policies that accelerate and sustain economic growth, and which enable the poor to participate in, and benefit from, the growth process. The theme of the Fifth National Development Plan is achieving Broad Based Wealth and Job Creation (BBWJC). This programme aims to contribute to this objective, in particular by stimulating investment, entrepreneurship and employment creation within the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector and through pro-poor business models. The programme has a mix of interventions that focus on specific sub-groups in the MSME sector and emphasize on innovative tools and delivery approaches. It is grounded in a systemic enterprise development approach, which recognizes the need for interventions at micro, medium and macro
levels. The BBWJC programme aims to deliver interventions at each of these three levels, with focus particularly on the medium level in order to develop the capacity of local institutions. The Zambian economy has recorded impressive growth over recent years, but this positive development is yet to translate into broad-based wealth and employment creation. Wealth creation is limited to a minority of the population (particularly in urban areas) and income inequalities are rising. The Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) notes that “the improved economic performance since 1999 has not significantly reduced poverty”, due to weak linkages between the capital intensive sectors which have driven growth and the rest of the economy. Neither has growth translated into a commensurate increase in jobs. Of the 6,184,000 people in the labor force, only about 700,000 are formally employed, and the remainder is either engaged in the informal economy or unemployed. These statistics reflect a pervasive lack of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities throughout the Zambian population. The apparent breadth of the definition used by the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act (2006) to describe a ‘targeted citizen’ for empowerment underlines this. The lack of opportunities for decent employment holds back human development, perpetuates inequality, exacerbates poverty, and limits the prospects for achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs). The programme also supports the implementation of aspects of the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment (CEE) Act (2006). It works closely with the CEE Commission to ensure all programme activities are aligned with the framework of the CEE Act; monitor the impact of the Act on the MSME sector through collaboration with business associations including Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Associations, identifying and recommending measures to enhance impact; and develop the capacity of the Commission through the provision of policy advice, drawing on international best practice. The programme supports the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry’s efforts to develop an MSME Development Policy, which relates to business development service support structure, entrepreneurial training, market facilitation including linkage programmes, and MSME financing.
Business Development Services Voucher Programme (BDS) It is recognized that the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector has great potential to generate employment and alleviate poverty. However, their growth is constrained by their inability to
access business development services. In recognition of the foregoing, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Embassy of Finland and the United Nations through the International Labor Organization launched a 3 year Business Development Services (BDS) Voucher Programme in November 2007. “The goal is to enable MSMEs access specific Business Development Services (BDS). The overall objective of the BDS programme is to provide vouchers to build demand-driven capacities of MSMEs” (times of Zambia; 2007). The Programme is implemented through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) in collaboration with the Zambia Chamber of Small & Medium Businesses Association (ZCSMBA) and the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) as facilitators and Madison Investment Company Ltd (MICL) as Fund Managers. To create a conducive environment for MSMEs to access relevant technical assistance and managerial support for their businesses, To empower MSME by providing them with means to purchase the technical assistance and managerial support that they need, To support the creation of sustainable and competitive MSMEs that are active in growth oriented sectors of the Zambian economy and to support business development service providers to continuously develop innovative and demand driven products through capacity building Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) One route that has been identified as being more likely to provide an avenue through which the SMEs could access capital for their growth and become viably run business institutions in Zambia is the stock market. It is for this reason that the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) is in the process of introducing a second tier on the stock market which will accommodate the SMEs, an initiative that is seen as an alternative market place from which the SMEs would be able to attract equity investment and capital fundraising. But the stock exchange is a cagey avenue for the majority of the SMEs in Zambia, who are not accustomed to the requirements of the stock exchange, among which is the strict adherence to good corporate governance practices, not least because by its nature, the market has to assure potential investors that they would be investing their money in well managed, directed and controlled firms. The stock exchange has already a code of corporate governance for companies that are currently listed, and the successful entry of the SMEs through the second tier would demand similar standards in corporate governance. It is with the objective of equipping SMEs in this area that the Institute of Directors (IoD) has developed a code of corporate governance for the SMEs that would be admitted to the stock exchange.
The SMEs should attract a lot of investor goodwill and interest when they buy in the initiative. The practice of corporate governance will help the SMEs cultivate the culture of complying with the law, help managements and directors of the SMEs to earn the respect of their shareholders, identify and manage risks, adopt and develop systems that enhance the quality of decisions they make, and lower the cost of capital for their operations. The best corporate governance practices also serve to promote fair competition and efficiency among firms, reduces both the supply and demand side of corruption through increased transparency and accountability, reduces risks and increases efficiency at firm and country level.
(3) The Response 0f Zambian Small Scale Business Owners to Global Market Access The globalisation of business has increasingly drawn Zambian SMEs into global value chains through different types of cross-border activities through regional borders like COMESA and SADC. Many entrepreneurs are recognizing the opportunities that this process offers and gaining access to global markets has become a strategic instrument for their further development. Zambian SMEs have realised that access to global markets for small businesses can offer a host of business opportunities, such as larger and new niche markets; possibilities to exploit scale and technological advantages; upgrading of technological capability; ways of spreading risk; lowering and sharing costs, including R&D costs; and in many cases, improving access to finance. Zambia participates in the American Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA was signed into law in 2003 and it offers tangible incentives for countries such as Zambia to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets (usaid.gov; 2003) Because of bilateral trade that exists between Zambia and India, today “India is considered as one of the major exporting destinations for non-traditional Zambian products. Significantly, total trade volume between India and Zambia stood at around $207 million in 2007-08” (allafrica.com, 2009) Zambia imports fabrics, semi-furnished iron and steel, leather goods, electronics, organic and inorganic chemicals, metals, cotton yarn, tea and coffee from India. Alternatively, Zambia exports
commodities like wood and wood products, crude minerals, gold and silver, precious and semi precious stones and scraps to India. Zambia’s active participation in 14 regional countries SADC Trade protocol as well as the Africa wide 20 countries COMESA/FTA offers preferential tariff access to total market potential of nearly 380 million people. Similarly with efforts such as AGOA, duty free access to the huge USA market has become a reality. Zambia is also a signatory to the Cotonou agreement which aims to achieve free trade arrangements between the EU and the ACP regional groupings.
Conclusion and Recommendations One major question we should pose is: what solution can be offered to the plight of small enterprises in Zambia? For one, policies should aim to encourage and promote the development of local technologies. Emphasis should be on the promotion of the local tool industry to reduce reliance on imports. SMEs are said to face a "liability of smallness." Because of their size and resource limitations, they are unable to develop new technologies or to make vital changes in existing ones. Still, there is evidence that SMEs have the potential to initiate minor technological innovations to suit their circumstances. However, for SMEs to fully develop and use this potential, they need specific policy measures to ensure that technology services and infrastructure are provided. Further, research and development institutions that are publicly funded should be encouraged to target the technology needs of SMEs. Secondly, the problem of access to information may be attributed to the inadequacy of SME support institutions. This points to the need for a supportive policy to encourage the establishment of documentation centers and information networks to provide information to SMEs at an affordable price. Thirdly, the government should come up with training centers for training managerial and technical courses for the small enterprises entrepreneurs. Equally, there should be business information centers. Fourthly, government should come up with proper regulatory policies that are small enterprises friendly since many of what we have in Zambia, frustrates every effort of a junior entrepreneur. The policies we have seem to care for the well-established businesses. Since majority of small enterprises lack finance, government should establish friendly small loaning system. This would include low interests rates to ensure the continuity of these businesses. SMEs have the potentiality of transforming the economy of a crippling nation. As such, every effort should be made to boost their growth
References 1. Hill, T. (1987). Small business production/operations management. Macmillan Education Ltd. 2. King, K. and McGrath, S. (2002). Globalization, Enterprise and Knowledge. Symposium, Oxford. 3. Kinyanjui, M. (2000). Tapping opportunities in enterprise clusters in Kenya: the case of enterprises in Ziwani and Kigandaini. , Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya. 4. Muteti, J. (2005). SME Lecture Notes. Nairobi: The Catholic University of Eastern Africa 5. USAID (1991). Gender and adjustment. Mayatech Corp 6. Wanjohi, A.M. and Mugure, A. (2008). Factors affecting the growth of MSEs in rural areas of Kenya: A case of ICT firms in Kiserian Township, Kajiado District of Kenya
Web pages referred to
1. www.unctadxi.org/../form-7396.aspx 2. www.postzambia.com/../40/ 3. www.times.co.zm/news/viewnews.cgi 4. www.zda.org.zm/161-unctad-gives-sme
8. www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi 9. www.bizxchange.in/u47/s-3p-3A-20090
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