THE Zimbabwe Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (ZCSME) has entered into a partnership with the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) which will see the bank availing about $7,5 million as loans for small businesses.
ZCSME deputy secretary general Rabson Hove said the funding would finance at least 50 viable projects mainly those in the manufacturing sector in each district in the first phase and will operate as a revolving fund thereafter.
“As ZCSME we negotiated with the POSB for a revolving fund facility for our members and our main target will be those in manufacturing and other productive sectors.
“The impact we’re looking for from this facility is the development and growth of the SMEs sector in the country,” said Hove.
“We want SMEs to graduate from micro to small and the small players also graduating to medium players and therefore we’ll be closely monitoring the beneficiaries.”
He said beneficiaries could apply for a maximum loan facility of $5,000 and called on operators to come forward with bankable business projects.
Hove said ZCSME and the bank will assess viable projects after which the funds will then be disbursed.
Courses in bookkeeping and accounting will be organised for recipients of the loans to ensure that the SMEs players manage their finances and run businesses effectively.
A majority of players in the sector are operating informally thereby limiting their contribution to the growth of the economy and revenue collection.
Realising the sector’s potential the government through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development, is rolling out a programme to register all players in the SMEs industry.
It is estimated that 60 percent of the economy is composed of informal businesses.
In 2013 the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduced a regulation that 30 percent of banks’ total loans should benefit SMEs.