HARARE – Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube continued his “listening roadshow” on Thursday by meeting representatives of 50 small and medium enterprises from around the country.

The engagement, closed to the media, was particularly important to Ncube who sees SMEs as the engine of Zimbabwe’s largely informalised economy.

The minister wanted to “hear the challenges and work together with SMEs in crafting solutions with the aim of achieving the vision of a middle-income country by 2030,” his office said.

The 50 representatives were drawn from various associations including SME Zimbabwe Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises; Zimbabwe Cross-Border Trade Association; SME Association Zimbabwe; Employers Council of Zimbabwe; Zimbabwe Informal Traders Association; Zimbabwe Miners Federation; Zimbabwe Women Association; Zimbabwe Women in Construction Industry; Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations and the Zimbabwe Vendors Association.

“SMEs raised some of the main issues they are facing operating in Zimbabwe and requested the intervention of the minister. Some of the key issues raised include difficult access to cheaper finance from banks and lack of resources to expand their enterprises,” Ncube’s office said in a media brief.

Ncube has already met with CEOs and captains of industry from the top 50 companies in the country.