Since the introduction of the Standard Bank Small and Medium Enterprises Quick Loans, a lot of businesses have managed to soldier on despite the economic challenges affecting them.
The Quick Loans programme is geared to address the financial needs of SMEs with loans of between N$5 000 and N$200 000 available, and repayment periods range from six to 12 months
Bonifas Sackaria owner of Hawkers Store & Butchery in Windhoek has been running his business for twenty years, but due to the limitations of providing collateral, he was unable to acquire any business loan from a bank.
However, he was finally able to receive his long-awaited SME Quick Loan from Standard Bank Namibia as he was not required to give any collateral or security.
“When I applied for the loan around 7 December last year I received N$17 000 from into my account which I used for buying stock for my shop and butchery,” said Sackaria, who’s a father of eight school-going children.
For him, getting this loan was a welcome relief as he managed to double his profit by 50% and also doubled his stock intake resulting in him being able to sell more to his clients.
“My business improved a lot, because I saved on transport costs of having to collect stock only once a week, instead of everyday and this gives me more time to sell more and plan ahead for the next stock supply,” he explained.
As for businesswoman, Innocent Ekandjo who runs a salon and shop in Babylon and Greenwell Matongo, paying off an instalment of N$1 600 per month for an N$15 000 loan is quite reasonable.
“It was also my first time to get a loan from a bank. My business is doing very well and I am even planning to expand my business once I pay off this loan,” said Ekandjo of Innocent Harris Beauty Hair Salon & Store, understanding the fact that after six months the quicker she repays the loan, the larger the access facility.
With more financial assistance she is hopeful to expand her business even more in the near future.
Ever since the SME Quick Loans were launched in September last year, Standard Bank Namibia has been able to respond to the needs of the market and help drive the growth of the economy.
Head of SMEs Nolan Christians said the quick loans product for SMEs is going quite well as it speaks to the needs of SMEs in the country.
“SMEs is on everyone’s agenda and through this tailor-made product we are addressing the financial needs of small and medium business people who in the past were unable to access funding because of collateral of security,” said Christians.
For an SME Quick loan a customer needs to have an open Business Current Account with any bank in Namibia and use it for six months before you can apply for a loan. The loan amount is dependent on the average turnover on the account, which must be N$5 000 or above and you must be trading in the market for at least 12 months.
Besides Windhoek, this loan product was successfully launched for SMEs in Oshakati, Ondangwa, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.