By Joyce Mukucha
The Financial Securities Exchange (FINSEC), an Alternative Trading Platform has launched the Pfuma MSME Exchange Listing and Funding Platform which aims at revolutionising the capital markets and the access to finance and listing for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
It has been learnt that MSMEs have several challenges which continue to negatively affect their growth thus the platform has come at an opportune time as it will connect and enable companies in Zimbabwe to fast-track their development by accessing financial advisoriess, collecting, posting, selling and purchasing orders on an open board thereby allowing for automated real-time multilateral price discovery in the trading of various types of financial securities.
Zimbabwe has over 3 million SMEs with only 15 percent formally registered. These SMEs employ almost 75 percent of total workforce in the country and contribute about 50 percent to the Gross Domestic Product.
The product will enhance visibility and get exposure among local and international investors in ensuring that they are compliant in preparation for listing on the Alternative Trading Platform (ATP). Through the platform, companies will also benefit from visibility, long term corporate sustainability , access to consultancy services and access to long term capital among others.
Speaking during the launch of the Pfuma Platform in Harare on the 18th of December 2019, the FINSEC Chief Executive Officer, Collen Tapfumaneyi said a significant expansion of the capital markets across all sectors of the economy was necessary.
“Right from the beginning, our vision was innovation and financial inclusion through technology. We have challenged ourselves to help deepen the country’s financial markets by simplifying access to funding. Efficiency, security and convenience central to the solutions we set out to craft in pursuit if financial markets deepening. Through ease of access using technology and the internet, we will extend the reach of the MSME Exchange Listing Platform to all provinces across the country,” he said.
Officiating at the launch of the platform, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube said that Zimbabwe was still lagging behind in terms of capacitating SMEs and he emphasised that Government remains committed to supporting innovation and product development towards developing the economy.
“The Government through the Ministry of Economic Development remains committed and available to provide the necessary policies, assistance and guidance to all participants in the development of our markets. What we are witnessing today is a direct response to the Government’s call for the capacitation and development of MSMEs, a key driver of our economic turnaround as we gravitate towards a medium income economy by 2030,” said Prof Ncube.
He added that the launch of the SME Funding and Listing Platform was one of the way in which the Zimbabwean capital market is demonstrating growth and diversification from focus on large and established corporates to also include SMEs.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni highlighted that limited access to cost effective capital raising opportunities to sustain the growth and development of the sector was a major challenge affecting the SME.
“It gives me pleasure to note that the product whose launch we are witnessing today is designed to address hindrances to MSME growth. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40 percent of national income in emerging economies and these numbers are significantly higher when informal SMEs are included. I assure you that my ministry’s full support of this innovation which is central to promoting the entrepreneurial spirit so abound in the people of this great nation,” she said.