An Assessment of the Contribution of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to the Manufacturing Sector in Small Urban Centres of Zimbabwe: A Case Study of SMEs in Bindura Town.
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This study was aimed at assessing the contribution of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) to the manufacturing sector in Bindura Town. The survey was carried out in three industrial sites, Chipadze Industrial Area, the Durawall and Trojan Road Industry. A total of 75 SMEs (30 in Chipadze Industrial Area, 25 in the Durawall and 20 in Trojan Road Industry), which represented 74% of manufacturing SMEs in Bindura town, were surveyed. It was observed that these SMEs were engaged in different manufacturing activities. The majority of the SMEs were involved in carpentry (43%) and steelworks (27%). The other manufacturing activities included softdrink manufacturing (11%), brickmaking (9%), clothing (5%), soap manufacturing (4%) and exercise book manufacturing (1%). The SMEs manufactured different products that were used by the public in the town. The 75 enterprises that were surveyed employed a total labour force of 342 workers. These were people who were directly linked to the operations of the different SMEs. Each SME created an average of 5 jobs in the town. This shows the potential of SMEs to create the much needed employment. The study has also revealed that SMEs are the major players in industrial development in small urban centres, in Bindura there were no large scale enterprises (LSEs) that were involved in manufacturing industry. Manufacturing industry was restricted to the SME sector. However the sector requires a lot of infrastructural and financial support for it to reach its full potential. There is a need to promote networking among the SME sector so that enterprises can realise economies of scale in their operations.