Sustaining Small and Medium Enterprises Through Diversification Training
- Created: Thursday, 10 September 2020 13:45
- Published: Thursday, 10 September 2020 13:45
Agribusiness Acceleration Initiative (AAI) project in partnership with Old mutual imparted the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with diversification mentorship as seasonality of agro dealership business in Malawi affect annual turnover of the agro dealers and this make the SMEs fail to sustain their businesses throughout the year-round. Trainings were done to equip aggregators on how to stock other products and services apart from agro inputs only. 67 SMEs were specifically targeted and trained in business diversification by Old mutual, representing 48 % of annual targeted SMEs.
Effective business diversification mentorship was accurately done as AAI project identified Old Mutual Malawi Limited as a trainer/ mentor to deliver the mentorship and trainings to the SMEs based on the agreed training modules and curriculum. Old Mutual have been engaged on a partnership basis where an agreement was made that AICC will not pay training fees to the organisation but will only refund the transport and accommodation costs for the trainers. This shows the mutual partnership that AICC and other organisations in different sectors have, to develop the SMEs.
AICC Officer and Nkhwazi, the owner of Nkhwazi Trading in her diversified shop where she sells clothes and agri-chemicals
One of the successful Agrodealer who benefited from these diversification training is Nkhwazi trading, a business located at Mibawa Bus Terminal. The Agrodealer was selling agro inputs like chemicals which was only targeting small holder farmers during the growing season. The business has been meeting several challenges like reduced rate of sales and losses after the growing season since it was stocking seasonal agro inputs. After the training, the business has improved, as it is now stocking both pre and post-harvest agro inputs that meets small holder farmers demands in all the seasons. Nkhwazi trading has also diversify into cosmetics, electronics, clothes and other items that has improved its marketing strategies and gross revenue of the business, which has led to an increased number of customers and employees working under it.