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By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

The Ministry of Trade and industrialisation wants an endowment fund to close the financing gap at the startups, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) level.

The endowment fund will be the next phase of the Sustainable Development Goals Impact Facility (SDGIF) after completing the first.

The ministry explained that to ensure permanency and sustainability of the SDGIF and it has announced a commitment of N$2,5 million.

At the same time, it called for donors/corporate to come through with financial or non-monetary commitment for the facility to go on and assist MSME development in the country.

This is after the facility (SDGIF), on its first phase, has distributed N$8,1 million to various 96 startups, micro, small and medium enterprises.

Most of the beneficiaries were in tourism (22), agriculture (20), renewable, ICT (13), manufacturing (10), while seven artisans and six nutraceutical entrepreneurs benefited.

For awareness and to mobilise more capital, the ministry held a gala dinner last week as part of its quest to mobilise additional N$2-N$3 million (in financial and nonfinancial pledges) for the MSMEs development in Namibia.

The SDGIF has been the ministry’s concept since 2017 after it realised that startups, micro, small and medium enterprises, especially social enterprises face a persistent financing gap.

It became one of MIT’s facilities or instruments to help ensure the full development of our enterprises across the economic divide.

The impact facility collaborates with UNDP Namibia and Standard Bank Namibia, and the Environmental Investment Fund.

The aim is to support and fund sustainable social enterprises as access to finance continues to hamper our efforts at business development.

It now aims to grow the fund into an endowment fund with other interested partners.

Speaking at the gala dinner, the minister of trade and industry, Lucia Iipumbu, highlighted that Micro-SMEs are the roots of the economy’.

She said if supported and developed, they grow into larger companies with a significant economic contribution.

“A well skilled and equipped MSME can impact the economy from the bottom up as they contribute to job creation, local value addition, and economic growth of a country,” said Iipumbu.

Hence call for efforts to improve Namibia’s business and investment climate and contribute to economic growth, employment, and income generation for all businesses, including MSMEs.

She added that the country’s efforts should ensure that it develops enterprises, be they micro or large, that can create social impact and are tuned to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Iipumbu said it is vital that both the public and private sectors continue to generate market intelligence to open up new avenues and sectors of growth.

The minister has also highlighted that they have launched a Sustainable Development Goals Investor Map Report that identifies 13 potential investment opportunities in the country.

She said MIT and all interested partners would continue to realise some of these projects to ensure economic resuscitation.

“I am therefore very much confident that if we keep this momentum, the SDGIF will fly our Namibian enterprise development flag high for many more years to come,” added Iipumbu.

The MIT strives to improve the business environment and conditions for businesses, including MSMEs, through policy, legislative, regulatory, institutional, and programme-specific initiatives. Email:

Julia Heita

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