At least 10 000 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are set to benefit from a training and technology transfer initiative following an agreement by the Ministry of SMEs and Cooperatives Development and an Indian firm, Springboard Enterprises.

Indian technocrats are in the country to finalise modalities for the start of major training programme that is targeting to benefit about 10 000 entrepreneurs and 90 000 more if downstream impact is factored in.

Springboard Enterprises CEO, Mr Rohit Khattar said the initiative dubbed the Local Entrepreneur Skill Development and Educational Programme (LESDEP) equips SMEs with multiple skills then helps them with seed capital.

The Minister of SMEs and Cooperatives Development, Cde Sithembiso Nyoni said a memorandum of understanding has already been signed and programme implementation is expected to commence in the next three to four months.

The Harare Chamber of SMEs welcomed the initiative since SMEs have financial difficulties in acquiring machinery.

The LESDEP has been implemented successfully in four other African countries; Senegal, Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso.

In India, SMEs have exploited low technology and flexible business strategies to spawn a multi-billion dollar industry that exports most of its products.