Eswatini Business Report

Eswatini SMME Roadmap 2018-2022

insight featured image
Unlike South Africa, Eswatini is a small country with a developing business market of about 25,947 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), of which 4,240 are defined as mid-sized companies according to the Eswatini MAP SMME Roadmap 2018-2022 report. However, mid-market businesses in these countries seems to face similar challenges.

These reports outline several key strategies to promote the growth and development of SMEs in the target market.

  • -          Improving policy-level support is a crucial step.
  • -          Action plans for value chains and ecosystems must be prioritised to best serve the needs of SMEs.
  • -          Creating market linkages and platforms to enhance economic transformation.
  • -          Addressing access to finance is another key strategy.
  • -          Digitising payments across value chains to increase efficiency and generate a digital transaction history.

To provide further support, the Eswatini MAP SMME Roadmap 2018-2022 report recommends high-quality business development support (BDS) to SMEs, with a particular focus on addressing barriers for women and youth to participate in the economic transformation process. By implementing these recommendations, the target market can foster an environment that is conducive to SME growth and development.

Furthermore, the diagnostic analysis indicated  that the majority of SMEs in Eswatini do not use BDS. However, SMEs were found to be hampered by a lack of management or technical skills, the use of sub-optimal technology, limited access to markets and information, and regulatory barriers. Business capabilities are thus critical for the development of SMEs, as they provide the know-how and skills needed to pursue growth opportunities, enter export markets, and promote innovation and competitiveness. The analysis also revealed that some of the business support services provided to SMEs in Eswatini did not meet their needs. The provision of an effective business support system is thus a prerequisite for the success of SMEs in Eswatini.

To negate financial challenges during inflation, mid-market businesses would need to implement short to medium-term strategies. This issue was covered in the H1 2022 IBR report, where we provided guidance on how businesses can respond to inflation and how they can use technology to increase their profit margins.

Some recommended first steps included managing costs carefully and creatively, buying more in advance to lock in prices, hedging where appropriate, and even looking into reverse auctions, while also attempting to become more effective and accomplish more with less. This year, we are adding more action plans that mid-market businesses can use to hedge against inflation as depicted by the graphic below


The mid-market in Eswatini requires coordinated business support that is customer-focused, with organisations that can demonstrate a capability relevant to impacting the SME sector and are accredited to offer such support. SNG Grant Thornton has vast experience and expertise in providing advisory services to businesses going through investment and adoption journeys to ensure growth and assist in finance raising through either private or public listings.

Eswatini Business Report
Eswatini Business Report
Read this article