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Nampro out to bridge SME gap

by Kaula Nhongo



Acquiring a loan in Namibia can be very difficult and some have even killed their dreams after failing to get a loan.
For the past 18 months, the Namibia Procurement Fund (Nampro) has been helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by giving them an opportunity to access loans.
The chairman of the Fund, Derek Wright relates on why the Fund was established, “Nampro Fund came about with the idea to finance small entrepreneurs for them to fulfil their mandate.”
The percentage growth of entrepreneurs in Namibia is moving at a very fast pace with 40 SMEs so far since the Fund’s inception 18 months ago.
“It gives us the thrill that we are helping upcoming business people and others have even come back for additional funding after the successes of their respective businesses,” said Wright.
The Fund, which targets anyone (in Namibia) eager to venture into business but has no financial support, has helped boost the Namibian economy and created jobs for the unemployed. It has also helped grow confidence in the Namibian SME market.
The Fund comprises of an independent board of trustees who are retired business people in their own right and are the ones who access the different loan applications - it usually takes two to three weeks before giving respective applicants feedback.
It does not charge interests but it enters into an agreement with successful applicants in which it shares profits depending on the contract signed. This helps it have a hands-on approach toward the different projects, thus providing support where needed.
Even though the Fund has an independent board of trustees, it has other companies helping it out. Business Financial Solutions (BFS) provides all the support for the Trust. Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) and Namibian Manufacturers Association (NMA) also entered into an agreement with the Fund.
Not only do they provide loans but they also provide training where needed on how to tender and this has been made possible by Pupkewitz PVT LTD.
The Fund has just had its annual audit and says it is pleased with the way things are looking and they hope to cater for even more Namibians, as it has been performing particularly well with just minor mishaps.
“Just like any other establishment, we make sure we have security so we have contracts and agreements with the different people we get into business with,” Wright said adding that: “In any business sphere, there are risks. So we try to eliminate them through investigating the business plans. If we see problems developing, we go deeper and try to help the entrepreneur.”