By Jesse Mikofu and Jonathan Musa
Mwanza — The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has commended Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) and KPMG for establishing the Top 100 Small and Medium Companies recognition platform, saying it plays a key role in stimulating the economy.
The remarks were made by TRA’s senior officer in charge of Services and Taxpayer Education, Mr Julius Mjenga, during the launch of Top SMEs Companies programme for 2017 at the Gold Crest Hotel in Mwanza City yesterday.
He urged MCL and KPMG to ensure the programme remains sustainable as it plays a key role in promoting productivity and creating a healthy environment for business competition.
“We congratulate you for this innovation as it challenges businesses to focus on growth. This is an essential contribution to revenue generation. For our economy to grow, it needs strong and stable businesses. In this way the government is able to fulfil its obligations as it can collect tangible revenues,” he observed.
Mr Mjenga challenged more small and medium companies to participate in the awards, but reminded them to observe the established standard procedures and rules.
“To every right, there is a duty. Paying tax is a duty that should be fulfilled by every firm and individual so as to enjoy their rights. You must issue and demand receipts when selling or buying goods and services,” he said.
For his part, MCL’s executive editor Bakari Machumu said the firm started the programme that observes leadership styles of different governments under different Heads of State, including the current administration that focuses on responsible governance.
He said the country offers numerous investment opportunities that investors must exploit for economic growth.
“As the government implements various infrastructure expansion projects, such as the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway, and the Hoima-Tanga Oil Pipeline, people need to look for areas where they fit in best,” argued Mr Machumu.
“It is imperative that people not only use existing opportunities but they should also ensure that they abide with the country’s laws and regulations,” he said.
Mr Machumu said the main objective of the programme is to enable business owners to know who are they, where they are and what they want to achieve in a certain timeframe, adding that it helps to build confidence of doing better both in the local and international markets.
He said one of the criteria for participation in the competition is to show the expansion strategies of a business for the next five years.
He noted that the government has made changes in procurement regulations, by allocating 30 per cent of the stake to small businesses, thus opening further opportunities for Tanzanians.
For his part, Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) official Gastor Magombana said the bourse was introduced to so as to uplift Tanzanians, especially entrepreneurs, by enabling them to grow fast by creating avenues for raising capital, instead of struggling with expensive and outdated models.
He said DSE has introduced the SMEs window, namely, Entreprises Growth Market to enable small companies which are not fitting to the main market segment to raise capital through floating part of their shares.
“This window is an arrangement for helping small business owners to acquire funding without difficult criteria, like those in main market segment,” he said.
Mr Fred Chacha, the managing director of CF Builders, that was one of last year’s winners, said previously, they were afraid to participate and they did not believe that the programme was genuine, but after learning on how it operates, they participated and emerged among the winners.
KPMG representative Ketan Shah said the participation in the programme enables companies to build their capacities in doing business because they are able to network with various experts who have long experience of running businesses.
Azam Media sales manager John Mbele said, “Our goal is to enable businesses to promote themselves for free, which will enable them to grow faster.
Top100 SMEs Companies competition was launched in 2011. This year Bank M are among the sponsors.