The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says it has disbursed $45.6 million loans to 40,862 micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Scaling (Fines) project.
This is out of the targeted $47 million.
The funds have been disbursed to 28,888 women, 7,159 youths and 4840 men.
Fines Project Business Development Specialist Richard Zidana said during a town hall meeting in Karonga that the beneficiaries need to repay the loans to widen access reach.
Zidana said the meeting was aimed at engaging the business community to share with them available opportunities and also remind them of the need to pay back loans.
The funds are being disbursed through participating financial institutions which include banks, microfinance institutions and Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Saccos).
“On enhancing the enabling environment for supporting the financial inclusion and growth of entrepreneurs, the project continued to support the office of the Registrar General on capacity building for staff on online business registration and integrating the system with other key institutions such as National Registration Bureau, Malawi Revenue Authority, Accountant General’s Department, mobile network operators and banks,” he said.
According to Zidana, since the start of loan disbursement in 2021, about K8.7 billion has been repaid.
In his reaction, Senior Chief Mwaulambya of Chitipa encouraged his subjects who have obtained loans to make sure they repay.
“Remember from the word go, this is a revolving fund and it’s a fund that must benefit everybody in this country.
“Therefore, there is a need that people must pay back and must pay back at all cost,” he said.
Fines is a Government of Malawi project being implemented through the RBM aimed at increasing access to financial services, promoting entrepreneurship and capabilities of MSMEs in Malawi including addressing Covid implications.
The project’s total cost is $86 million.
Through the project, the central bank says it received a total of 4,327 applications from MSMEs who needed training, out of which 3,522 met the eligibility criteria and are currently being considered for training.
Currently, 307 SMEs are undergoing training in business management, among other issues.