Nesia Mhaka,Herald Correspondent
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (Smedco) will this year disburse about $90 million to boost the growth of small and medium enterprises.
Smedco, a parastatal and leading development finance institution for the promotion and development of micro, small and medium enterprises, was formed in 1983 through an Act of Parliament.
It provides both financial and non-financial services to its clients, including lending, training, advice, infrastructure provision and capacity building.
Last year, it disbursed loans to 500 000 micro and small enterprises nationwide.
Speaking in an interview with The Herald yesterday, Smedco head of marketing and corporate communication Mr Tafadzwa Mushaikwa said the organisation was keen to play a key role in empowering budding entrepreneurs and contributing to fulfilment of the country’s upper and middle income vision by 2030.
“This year we have about $90 million to distribute to small businesses,” he said.
“We would like to double our efforts from the two previous years, all things being equal. In the last two years, Smedco has disbursed over $30 million.”
Mr Mushaikwa encouraged small and medium enterprises to apply for loans that suit their business requirements and their capacity to repay. He said Smedco will continue to mobilise additional lines of credit to ensure that the major challenge of access to finance by its clients was addressed.
“We want all small and medium enterprises to get enough capital to start their businesses, but access to finance will be coupled with business training to improve the financial literacy of beneficiaries of the corporate loans, among other business skills,” said Mr Mushaikwa.
“Smedco’s mandate covers the micro, small and medium enterprises as well as cooperatives. These cut across all sectors of the economy.”
Smedco operates six branches in the main cities that serve the 10 provinces.
Branch locations are found in Harare, Bindura, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo.