Fifty SMEs qualify for matching loans
Fifty Small and Medium Enterprises have qualified for the Business Linkages Matching Fund (BLMF) loans of up to US$20,000 each through Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SMEA).
The Business Linkages Matching fund is an African Development Bank (AfDB) funded facility of the Malawi government targeted at SMEs.
SMEA president James Chiutsi said disbursements of the funds will soon be made to the SMEs that have fully met the criteria for the loans.
“As SMEA, we are pleased with the development as it will allow SMEs to grow their businesses. At the moment everything is finalised and we are just waiting for the disbursement,” he said.
He said SMEA, which was launched eight months ago, has been forging strategic alliances with partners critical for SMEs development and that the facility with AfDB is one of the fruits of the partnerships.
Apart from AfDB, SMEA also has an arrangement with Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), through the Malawi Industrial Research and Technology Development Centre where SMEs will get technical support to improve their production processes.
“This partnership will see staff and students [at MUST] helping SMEs on part time basis,” he said.
Chiutsi said SMEA has also collaborated with other SME groupings to conduct research on how they can provide lines of credit and technical support to its members who have graduated from the micro, through small to medium categories.
“We are targeting those that are now ready to grow into sizable companies with turnovers of above K50 million per month,” said Chiutsi.
SMEA is also planning to introduce annual awards for successful SMEs to help Malawians appreciate the role businesses play in the social economic development of the nation.
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