Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) development is an invaluable key to poverty reduction through accelerating economic growth, and promoting and empowering the poor, women and the differently abled so that they can escape malnutrition, hunger, and disease. But above all that they become economic agents partaking into the mainstream of the economy. Indeed the purpose of SME in terms of poverty reduction is manifold.

Worldwide, small business face more constraints at start up and developmental phases. In Africa, for example the failure rate is 85{6de6520bac878567fcd0b20f0dbb3c7620581fba1ef76900ed00d745ae853531} out of a 100 companies. Several factors are identified as limiting market access to SMEs in Africa and include; lack of market information, poor access to physical markets, market premises and spaces, poor linkages with export markets, weak advertising and promotional capacities, poor quality products and services that restrict entry in some markets, limited market research and analysis, narrow product diversity, weak capacity for e-commerce and imperfect markets.

Many SMEs lack the necessary information on market opportunities limiting them to narrow local markets; on customers and market demand due to lack of market research leading to saturated markets with goods whose demand is low. Many SMEs produce goods and services without considering the market and customer needs and consequently they are not able to penetrate the market. Lack of physical market structures to sell is another challenge for African SMEs resulting in illegal hawking of their goods.

Accessing more market share

SMEs need to find innovative ways to access markets locally and beyond. They need to create a niche marking strategy where they identify key products and services to be sold to the outside world. In this context, KBA Africa has developed a new trading platform called TradEX, launching online today, Friday 25 November. “KBA Africa is an African Business Incubation and capacity building organisation specializing in accelerating the growth and increasing the success rate of start-up and early stage Small and Medium Enterprises,” explains CEO Agnes Hove.

Hove goes on to say that the company’s Trade Exchange Platform (TradEX) is an online trading platform that allows their clients to showcase their products and services. “TradEX aims to provide our clients with a user friendly platform where buyers and sellers can meet and exchange good and services. TradEX serves to help our clients develop and cultivate customer relations, search for partners, and position their companies.

Makamba Online asked Hove what makes her company’s platform different and appealing for up-and-coming SMEs. She said; “TradEX represents a real-time, interactive online environment that serves to bring together supply and demand. The online platform promotes the formation and growth of markets and market segments and one can distinguish three economic benefits of TradEX as a platform namely: the exchange of goods, the sharing of information, and the promotion of products and organisations.”

The founders of this new platform hope to give small businesses a safe and secure opportunity to promote and sell their goods and services.

Author: Staff writer