Minister of Commerce, Industry & Trade Manqoba Khumalo says it is important for Eswatini to invest in business incubation programmes to address the challenges faced by MSMEs. He has been speaking during a tour of the new Acero Steel Frames premises in Matsapha.
Acero Steel Frames is a liSwati-owned company based in Matsapha, which manufactures steel door and window frames as well as does structural steel fabrication for warehouses and manufactures meter boxes, brick forces and other steel products. The Honourable Minister said in the competitive world of business, about 90% of start-ups fail due to lack of knowledge and skills. Understanding the challenges faced by MSMEs, it is imperative that the country must invest in the business incubation programmes.
The Honourable Minister further stated that the incubation programmes within the SEDCO estates serve to tackle the lack of business management skills and to shape businesses into viable and sustainable enterprises. He applauded SEDCO for its contribution in supporting for creating a conducive environment for the company’s growth by stating that the company’s business incubation programme has been instrumental in shaping the business into a success.
“As a Ministry, we strive to be key drivers in job creation in the country hence it is encouraging to learn that Acero Steel Frames is currently employing more than 20 emaSwati and most of them are young people. These are the kind of results we want to see from our MSMEs because a vibrant MSME sector plays a crucial role in employment creation and economic growth. I would like to reiterate the importance of a vibrant and export-driven MSME sector. We want our MSMEs to take advantage of the market opportunities available at regional, continental and global levels”, said Minister Khumalo.
Acero Steel Frames Founder and Managing Director Thamsanqa Mdluli said “This dream began in 2015 when I learnt that in January alone, about 40 000 door frames were being imported & an average of 450 000 a year. We started with 8 employees, manufacturing only door frames. Then in 2018, we started window frames.”