Skills shortage slows SMEs

The lack of basic skills required to organise and manage business is stalling the growth and development of Rwanda’s critical Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector, a youth and female start up business expert has said.
One of the super markets in Kigali. (File photo)
One of the super markets in Kigali. (File photo)

The lack of basic skills required to organise and manage business is stalling the growth and development of Rwanda’s critical Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector, a youth and female start up business expert has said.

Joan Sanger, a Paris-based speaker said businesses are dying at infancy due to poor or lack of business plans by the owners and inability to anticipate the changes on the market.

Sanger was invited to Rwanda by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) in partnership with the US embassy for 5 days to conduct workshops and lectures for SME’s owners, women’s groups, business students, experts and NGO administrators.

“The purpose of this programme is inspire and empower Rwandan youth to become entrepreneurs,” said Fabrice Shema the JCI national president.

During the round table discussion with JCI members held at US embassy in Rwanda on Monday, Sanger advised young entrepreneurs to have innovative ideas to cease opportunities offered by the global market.

“There should be lower transactional and tax liability costs as well as lower tax rates for businesses. Whenever this is high, there should be a regulatory framework to work it out with the government,” said Sanger.

This comes at a time the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR) suggests that Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) should scrap income tax to encourage formalisation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and support their growth in the long run.

This would also increases tax compliance among small businesses, IPAR said in a recent study which was aimed at examining the challenges SMEs face in relation to tax compliance.

Sanger said that value addition in the business production should be emphasised to boost the quality of output and exports as well greater participation in the global value chain.

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