FEC: nine SMEs won the « Challenge Entreprise » prize and a $10,000 grant from the government

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Kinshasa, April 4th, 2022 (CPA).– Nine small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including 3 women and 6 men entrepreneurs, have reported the « Chanllenge Entreprise » prize and a non-refundable grant of USD 10,000 from the government to encourage local initiative, on the occasion of the 2nd edition of this forum, organized at the Congo River Hotel from April 1st to 2nd in Kinshasa. These nine SMEs operating both in Kinshasa and in the provinces stand out in the categories: entrepreneurial initiative, female entrepreneur, young entrepreneur, local content, provincial performance, innovative craftsman, start-up and incubator.

In the same context, other awards of merit were awarded to the various players who participated directly or indirectly in supporting SMEs, in particular Equity Bank and the NGO “Un jour nouveau”. Minister Eustache Muhanzi said he was satisfied with these foundations which have just answered in any way the substantial and existential questions related to the economic growth of the DRC and particularly to local initiative. He, on the same occasion, called on other entrepreneurs to formalize their activities in order to contribute effectively to the socio-economic development of the DRC.

Improving the business climate is a necessity for the development of SMEs

The President of the National Commission for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the Federation of Congolese Enterprises (FEC), Fely Samuna, indicated at the close of these meetings that improving the business climate is a necessity for development. SMEs, with a view to making the DRC count among the countries with emerging economies by 2030.

He pointed out that despite the qualities that an SME can have, the absence of a conducive business climate makes development prospects difficult both for SMEs and for the entire economic environment. Mr. Samuna also underlines that the recommendations formulated by the participants at the end of the exchanges and debates focused on two important themes, namely, “the creation of local champions: where to start? and the impact of digital technology on the growth of SMEs can only have a positive impact if the government takes appropriate, incentive and attractive measures to allow SMEs to work in a clean environment that is favorable to business development and that it fully plays its role of creator of wealth and jobs.

The challenges of the hour

President Fely Samuna stressed that this improvement will enable SMEs to face the obstacles and challenges of the day, including on the one hand the negative impacts linked to covid-19 on economic activity, and on the other hand the digital economy which is currently considered a vector of growth, productivity and competitiveness for companies.

In this context, he specifies, SMEs are called upon to be able to do business differently and create added value for which the Internet, its tools and services are both the vector and the symbol. In this regard, he invited the public authorities to put in place a favorable framework to make the Internet available and accessible to all in order to reduce the digital divide. “SMEs and their contributions to a country’s economic growth are well established. According to a study carried out by the ILO, SMEs play a vital role in job creation by providing nearly two-thirds of all formal jobs in developing countries and up to 80% in low-income countries.

This sufficiently demonstrates that SMEs deserve special attention because they constitute the bedrock of any economy. In the DRC, and particularly in the provinces, they are at the center of economic activity by working more in general trade, the sale of foodstuffs, transport services, hotels, accommodation, financial messaging, processing agribusiness,” he said. Mr. Fely Samuna, in the same context, noted the different qualities and skills that SMEs must have, among other things, the audacity to be able to invest despite the difficulties, the determination, and the creativity to make the company prosper, the perseverance, the innovation, good governance and rigor as well as the diversification of activities.

The national vice-president of the FEC Éliane Munkeni also called on the various entrepreneurs of SMEs to respect the prerequisites before starting an activity, while thanking the efforts made by both the government and the other organizations for the organization of this Forum. .

Recall that the Federation of Congolese Companies (FEC) has been working alongside Congolese private companies since 1972, 50 years to date. ACP/