SME Bank to open later this year, says TweyaBy: ESME RUSBERG
DAR-ES-SALAAM – The Namibian government has set up infrastructure for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but there is still a great need to provide them with financial support, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya has said.
Speaking on entrepreneurship at the East African Community Investment Forum in Tanzania on Tuesday, Tweya said the biggest challenge facing SMEs is access to funding. These entrepreneurs do not need millions to start their businesses, he said.
Government has created incubation centres and small traders’ markets where SMEs operate, while paying a small amount in rent each month.
He explained that the Government has also established an SME Bank to address the issue of access to finance, because commercial banks require collateral, which most SMEs do not have.
Tweya furthermore told delegates that Namibia also provides financial assistance to SMEs through the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), which gives out loans as start-up capital for these small businesses.
“The SME sector is the foundation and engine-room of economic growth in world economies,” he said.
The Deputy Minister, however, also expressed concern that most of the privately-owned businesses in Namibia are owned by families, and these types of businesses are never willing to assist SMEs.
Namibia also values the contribution of women, as they are important players in the SME sector.
“Women should be seen as equal partners in the development process of the country. he said”. – Nampa