Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Associations

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Membership

CORPORATE MEMBERSHIP

Following a revision of ZCSMBA’s strategy, membership is now open to other organized groups with similar aspirations and objectives as ZCSMBA’s. This is in addition to DBAs. Already about eleven (11) such groups have been admitted as members.

 

Both group affiliates of ZCSMBA, i.e DBAs and other organized groups, have as members, mainly, micro and small enterprises. Very few have any medium sized enterprises as members. For some reason, the majority of medium sized enterprises are not keen to join DBAs or similar organized groups of MSMEs. Many are also not members of Zambia Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI). There are several reasons for the existence of this negative attitude towards membership of groups of MSMEs by medium sized enterprises. Here, only two of the reasons are cited:

 

1. the perceived low level of leadership obtaining among ZCSMBA’s affiliates

2. the lack of information and knowledge as to the benefits to be had by joining and being a member of a DBA or other organized group of MSMEs.

 

We, therefore, are faced with a situation where medium sized enterprises, a good number of which are owned by promising Zambian professionals and offer the greatest promise for future business development in the country, are out on their own and do not seem to see the need to join any grouping, even though the groups are established for the benefit of these enterprises.

 

If the argument that belonging to an established group, like a DBA, is good and helps an enterprise to progress faster due to support services it gets from membership, then our most promising enterprises are losing out and need to be persuaded or convinced to join and belong.

 

 

 

 

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ZCSMBA has been keen to attract medium sized businesses into its ranks, but as long as these medium sized enterprises do not join DBAs or other affiliates of ZCSMBA, membership of ZCSMBA will continue to comprise micro and small business enterprises only for a long time to come.

 

In order for ZCSMBA to woo medium sized enterprises to come on board, a new strategy is required. One such strategy is to introduce a new category of membership – Corporate Membership. This category of membership would affiliate directly to ZCSMBA upon payment of appropriate fees without the necessity of first joining one of ZCSMBA’s affiliate association as is the case at the moment.

 

For an enterprise to qualify as a corporate member it must meet at least three (3) of the following criteria:

 

1. Be formally registered under the Companies Act

2. Post a turn-over of K500m or more per annum

3. Possess assets valued at K2bn or more, exclusive of land.

4. Have on record at least thirty (30) full time employees

 

Note: Criteria 1 is a must, but any two out of 2,3, and 4 will suffice.

 

The proposed affiliation fee for such an enterprise is K450,000 per annum.

 

Corporate membership would entitle an enterprise to full rights currently enjoyed by any affiliate of ZCSMBA, e.g. a vote at the annual general meeting (AGM).

 

This proposal is being floated for debate. If supported, it would then go to ZCSMBA Board before presentation at the AGM.

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Assuming the proposal is adopted, an aggressive door-to-door campaign would be necessary to get significant numbers of medium sized enterprises come on board.

 

I look forward to your thoughts and reaction.


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