SME Cluster Development
Clusters are geographical concentration of enterprises which produce and sell a range of related or complementary products and are, thus, faced with common challenges and opportunities. Cluster development is basically supporting and strengthening the clusters by creating networking among the stakeholders to reduce the cost of doing business, bringing them on a single platform for more voice among policy makers, create new business opportunities, reducing risk of doing business and capacity building of the enterprises. Cluster development has also proved its contributing in employment generation and poverty reduction worldwide.
Worldwide, one of the most widely used practices to support industrial clusters is provision of Common Facility Centers (CFC). The establishment of CFCs is an integral part of SMEDA’s Cluster Development activities. So far SMEDA has been able to establish following CFCs with Chambers of commerce and industry and industry/trade associations:SME Clusters in Pakistan have huge potential and critical to SME growth. SMEDA has always been fully cognizant of the significance of Cluster Development and has taken several initiatives. These initiatives includes Technological Up-gradation, establishment of Common Facility Centers(CFCs) , access to Formal Finance for SME clusters, Marketing support, Improving HR skills and Awareness on International Certification & Regulations.
Computer Pattern Designing in Sialkot
This CFC has facilitated 300 SMEs to get their patterns developed, 122 participants trained & 28 are under training and 95 employments generated.
Light Engineering Sector in Gujranwala
The center has provided testing services to 206 SMEs 130 students have completed Auto Cad training.
Artificial Insemination Training Center in Burj Attari
More than 1100 technicians have been trained and 900 self employments generated under this program.
Credit is life line for any running business including SMEs and realizing the potential in SME sector and its importance, SMEDA has successfully launched following financing schemes in Punjab:
Power Loom Up-gradation, Faisalabad (Rs.226 million to 150 entrepreneurs)
Support Services for Agri Credit (SSAC) (Rs.77.45 million to 252 farmers)
Lending Scheme for Cutlery Manufacturers, Wazirabad (Rs.5 million to 10 SMEs)
The proposals for following CFCs were prepared and submitted to Govt. of Punjab. The Planning & Development Department-Punjab has approved these CFCs and allocated Rs.100 million for the year 2005-2006. The construction of buildings ad procurement of machinery and equipment are under process.
Auto Parts Design & Inspection Center, Lahore
Electrical Fittings Industry Support Center, Sargodha
Wooden Furniture Support Center, Chiniot
Composite Material Based, Sialkot
Besides above program SMEDA is also working in cluster profiling, marketing support to cluster stakeholders and training to skills enhancement for SMEs as well as rural clusters.
SMEDA in collaboration with PSIC and UNIDO has started “Cluster Development Program for SMEs in Punjab”. The objective of this program is to help in developing seven different SME clusters of Punjab. The Diagnostic Study of these seven clusters has been completed. In the next year action plan would be implemented. Besides these clusters, SMEDA is also working exclusively with UNIDO in four clusters i.e. Sports Wear Sialkot, Auto Part Lahore, PVC Pipes & Plastic Products Lahore and Marble & Granite Rawalpindi/Islamabad.