Small to Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni says that the country’s unemployment rate is not as high as some independent economists claim as there are now a large number of small businesses in the nation that are creating remarkable jobs.
In an interview with Studio 7, Nyoni said indications are that small businesses would in 10 years dominate the business sector in the country.
"That really shows that SMEs are the economy of Zimbabwe today and if you compare that with big companies you will find that those companies are real, they are running and they are employing people," she said.
She said in 2013 a World Bank survey revealed that in 10 years Zimbabwe had created and supported or helped create 2.8 million entrepreneurs owning 3.5 million businesses that created over five million jobs.
She said, "A lot of Zimbabweans are not just sitting under trees they are, a lot of Zimbabweans are working for themselves or other small businesses. Last week for, example, I visited Gweru and Bulawayo within a small complex and you find that one person was employing 10 people another one employing eight people and so forth but they are not counted as workers.”
She said her ministry helps SMEs in various ways including training, how to seek finance and to showcase their goods in various trade fairs in the region.
The Registrar of Deeds, Companies and Intellectual Property is reported to have registered more than 11,000 companies since the beginning of last year.
Depending on the source, Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate has been estimated at as low as 4 percent by the government and as high as 95 percent by other institutions, including the International Monetary Fund.
According to the Herald newspaper, traders and small businesses accounted for more than 1,000 entities that were registered followed by mining at 453, manufacturing 392 and others including building, security, agriculture and civil works.