Tuesday, May 30, 2023
BusinessProspective SMEs breathe sigh of relief, get space inside parks

Prospective SMEs breathe sigh of relief, get space inside parks

   – Industrial parks in Addis Ababa allocate 10ha of land

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are invited to make use of 10 hectares of serviced lands at industrial parks found in Addis Ababa free of lease fees.

The Industrial Park Development Corporation (IPDC) called on the SMEs specialized in textile, leather, woodworks, food & drinks, printing & packaging, and construction & engineering, to send their proposal for assessment and selection.

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The winning SMEs from all over the country will be given the chance to use of the allocated places in the industrial parks found in the capital for three to five years, building their own sheds. However, the sheds to be built by the enterprises aren’t expected to be in compliance to the standard of sheds the existing investors have built.

IPDC will prepare standards for the temporary sheds to be built by the SMEs in a way that doesn’t disturb the parks’ ecosystems, according to Sandokan Debebe, chief executive officer (CEO) of the IPDC.

Officials at the IPDC claim the gesture is part of their office’s corporate social responsibility, not aiming to make business out of it. After the completion of the three to five years lease free period, the SMEs are expected to upgrade and lease the lands like the large scale enterprises in the park, or leave.

“Entrepreneurs and small sized enterprises with sufficient technology, knowledge, and sometimes with better finance, might not continue their business because of lands unavailability,” Sandokan told The Reporter.

Interested small enterprises have until the coming Thursday, October 27, 2022, to submit their proposals. Besides provision of the serviced lands that has all the utility services at one place, the IPDC will also assist SMEs in their attempts to get financial and technical support to build the sheds.

This is a major departure from how the IPDC was operating, leasing serviced lands to large scale enterprises working mostly on exports. The SMEs can either sell their products locally or export.

As a solution for lack of lands to the enterprises, the Ethiopian Enterprise Development has been advising regional and city administrations to build parks designated for the SMEs. Addis Ababa City Administration is starting to build a 7.2 billion Birr worth industrial park on 93 hectares of land dedicated for small enterprises.

Ashenafi Meles, communications director at the Enterprise Development, told The Reporter that requests for provision of lands have been the headache to the Ethiopian Enterprise Development, but it wasn’t able to assist due to the high number of demands and unavailability.

“SMEs are renting working places at a cost of up to 60,000 Birr, making them unable to invest more on their works, create more jobs and build their capacity,” Ashenafi told The Reporter.

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