By: Nghiinomenwa-vali Erastus
Those planning a business are advised to start with whatever resources, as starting small is part of the process, Bank Windhoek’s Manager of Emerging SME, JenevieveSwartz has said.
She was speaking at the Bank’s SMEs information-sharing sessions for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Windhoek last week.
“It was important for us to convey the message that the SMEs should realise that there is great power in starting small, with the resources that they have available,” Swartz said.
Her statement comes at the time the country is trying to find the best formula to fund start-ups and SMEs, and promote entrepreneurship.
The nearly 40,000 SMEs actively contribute to the national economy, by playing a pivotal role in shaping the country’s future and its Vision 2030 Agenda, which aims to transform Namibia into a healthy, food secure and prosperous nation.
More than 20 entrepreneurs – from various sectors such as education, beauty, retail, renewable energy, and telecommunication – with formally registered businesses and actively operating for at least six months attended the Bank Windhoek session.
Swartz explained that the sessions were aimed to engage with the SMEs to better understand the challenges they face and how the Bank could assist in addressing these challenges.
Bank Windhoek’s Business Banking I-Lounge Team presented the various bank products available to SMEs and the Banks’ lending criteria.
Adding that “As Connectors of Positive Change, we want to journey with each SME that has a relationship with the Bank. The goal is to get them to a point where they can access the Bank’s lending products, enabling them to grow their businesses sustainably,” Swartzsaid.
She has also highlighted that financial institutions like Banks are highly regulated organisations, entrusted to safeguard depositor’s funds, and always ensuring prudent lending.
Bank Windhoek’s Sustainable Finance and ESG Analyst, Joachim Komeheke, told attendees of the opportunity they have to tap into funding earmarked explicitly for sustainable projects with environmental and social benefits.
Two SMEs, Nel’s Babies & Kiddies and Ilotu Investments, shared words of encouragement with the attendees, providing them with a raw and unfiltered version of what it takes to run a successful business.
They have also shared their real-life challenges and successes, encouraging their fellow SMEs to persist in their pursuit of being successful entrepreneurs, albeit with limited resources.
The next Bank Windhoek SME information session will take place on 26 and 27 July 2023 in Oshakati and Ondangwa, respectively.
Bank Windhoek recently announced that it donated N$100,000 to the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board’s (NIPDB) Know to Grow High Potential Pool.
In March 2023, Bank Windhoek indicated that it has disbursed millions to support the government’s SME Economic Recovery Loan Scheme launched in February this year.
The SME Economic Recovery Loan Scheme is an initiative the government introduced in partnership with several local banking institutionsand the Bank of Namibia.
It aims to stimulate economic growth and job creation by providing additional funding to SME businesses to enable them to continue to pay their operational expenses.Email: email@example.com