By Burnett Munthali
Small businesses in Malawi have been badly hit by the economic situation prevailing in the country as well. They have been hit hard below the belt and are complaining of three things; 1) Lack of business 2) Expensive goods and 3) Lack of money.
The small businesses in the country include producing and selling fruits and vegetables , Construction, Cleaning Companies, Family Salon, Selling Fresh Egg, Vending second hand clothes, and many more.
There are many challenges that modern marketers in Malawi are facing apart from the above mentioned.
Lack of skilled and semi-skilled labor. High lending rates averaging around 27% make it expensive to access capital on the local market. Political risk; administrative and regulatory uncertainty.
Key issues affecting Malawi’s MSME sector development are as follows:
Attractiveness of the MSME sector, failure to manage success, over-diversification and over-trading, credit risk, inability to save, self centeredness, business networking, political affiliations.
Many small businesses fail in Malawi for various reasons. Researchers have attempted to look into the causes of SME failure in Malawi and have established that among other causes, most SMEs collapse due to lack of finances for survival and growth, registration procedures, inadequate business skills, HIV Aids pandemic and many more.
However, allow me to dwell on the three challenges mentioned in the first paragraph of this article.
Lack of business
The small business owners are currently experiencing no business in the country which is causing life very difficult and miserable for them to keep on going.
Many small businesses have closed down already due to the same factor but for those who are still surviving find it even harder to continue doing business. They are simply not doing business because business itself has generally slowed down.
High prices of goods
Many goods have doubled up or even tripled from the normal price since June 2020. Business is not the same anymore as we speak and business people keep on sharing their fears and lamentations of the harsh environment.
The small businesses in Malawi are finding it hard to keep up the pace as the prices of such commodities keep rising meaning that they keep digging deeper into their pockets so that they remain in business. Remaining in business appears to be very difficult just as difficult it is trying to find capital to start one.
Other small businesses collapsed because of this same reason. They did not have extra money to dig deeper into their pockets so they could stay in business.
Lack of money
Many people do not have the money to buy goods because their purchasing power has been affected by the devaluation of the kwacha.
Jobs are also getting scarce as the population continues to grow. The jobs on the market do not tally with the demand for jobs.
Those who have jobs have minimized their spending as they now spend on very important needs only, therefore, even small piece works are difficult for the common man to find one.
The future for small businesses looks dark, uncertain and very scary more than what we can see today. Nobody knows exactly what will happen next because the challenges keep rising.
Malawi is going into the dark, very difficult to predict as we try to move and go ahead.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor