No less important a task for such an institute is conducting research and development in the areas of market opportunity, product design, innovation and development as well as in systems design. Assisting in setting up quality control systems for products and in establishing efficient process design and plant layout will also help the SMEs achieve their dreams.
Organising exposure visits to other countries or external institutions for experiential gains, organising trade fairs for SME products and building up the database of external suppliers of inputs, including technologies, should be another task for the institute.
Another critical condition is a resource-based form of industrialisation. The principle, which is sacrosanct for developing nations especially in Africa, is changing the countries’ economies from the ongoing state of being producers and exporters of primary commodities to producers of processed, value-added and final-use products.
There are certain retarding features that characterise the production and export of raw resources. This can be in how income is generated to subsequently be used to pay for the import of final consumer goods and “capital equipment” as well as partially processed goods primarily for extracting raw resources. It can also be evident in the lack of a possibility for diversification and linkages with the rest of the economy.
It is justifiable to state that the historical evidence of SMEs as a means for progressive advancement of industrialisation and development is one of success. Necessary conditions for success to take place have always been and will continue to be the presence of entrepreneurial capacity, productive use of the right technologies, use of indigenous resources, availability of supportive infrastructure, enabling services of public institutions and competitiveness in price, quality, quantity and delivery.