Econet to assist small businesses

HARARE - Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed diversified concern, Econet Wireless, is on a mission to assist local small-to-medium enterprises (SME) to generate more income using its products and services, a top company executive has said.

“We want our customers, who are increasingly running their own businesses, to see our network as a partner who will help them make more money,” Econet chief executive Douglas Mboweni said yesterday.

“It’s no longer enough to simply offer cheaper calls, we need to help businesses to make more money using our services,” he added.

Unveiling a new service called Ownai which helps businesses to sell their products Mboweni said the company’s products and services which can be used as tools to make local business more effective.

Ownai is an eCommerce Marketplace which allows Econet customers to market their products for free to more than 10,2 million registered Econet customers.

“It is not possible to get that kind of market exposure, except through Econet,” Mboweni said.

Available on both mobile and desktop platforms, Ownai allows users to buy new and pre-owned items at the most affordable prices, and it takes less than 30 seconds to post a free ad and start selling to interested buyers.

The mobile telecommunication firm’s boss noted that the service does not span Econet customers only but anyone — including non Econet customers — can access the platform and search for goods.

Mboweni said the new service will not lead to the spread of “spam” SMS messages, and emphasised that Econet will not send customers adverts. Rather, he said customers choose to see adverts posted by others.

“We have invested heavily in sophisticated spam and fraud-detection software and we will moderate every ad before it is published on Ownai,” he said.

This comes as the country’s SMEs are struggling to stay afloat in a harsh economic environment due to electricity shortages and an acute liquidity crisis.

In his 2016 National Budget statement on Thursday, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said SMEs continue to play a key role in the economy, employing about 60 percent of the country’s workforce and contributing about 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

“Therefore, government will be paying close attention to this sector, with support on resolving the perennial challenges such as financing, infrastructure, technology, management and entrepreneurial skills as well as marketing,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has also developed a regulatory framework and other supporting structures to embrace the SME market and these will be finalised in the first half of 2016.

Comments (1)

This company group is suspect.If yu look at its operations ,its just to make money n invest it outside zim to spread risc.kumora chete.their bank steward does not help its clients at all by way of loans or anything to do with them outlaying funds.Its actually a policy for this bank ,dont lend,just get deposits.Other banks like CBZ,STARNDAD,BACLAYS are trying very good to help economy grow by offering cheap funds to industry,not steward.its an inhouse bank,for the masiiwa family.we dont like that.yu must help yo country kwete kungo mora chete

bere mukati - 1 December 2015

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