Helping small clients become big

A Training, Coaching and Mentoring Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was launched early this week by Standard Bank Namibia (SBN) at a budget cost of N$750 000.
This programme will take 25 business owners through a year-long training, coaching and mentoring programme. SME owners from all regions are targetted and it is open to all, not just clients of Standard Bank.
Sigrid Tjijorokisa, Head Corporate Social Investment and Board Company Secretary of Standard Bank Namibia said there will be a strong focus on local production and innovation. “The programme will be supplemented by a monthly newspaper publication which will provide SMEs with business and financial management tips, quarterly breakfast session, one for each region, will serve as a platform for knowledge sharing, networking and engagements with SMEs,” she explained.
She emphasised that the importance of SMEs in any economy can not be understated and that they play a formidable role in national development by creating employment, contributing to domestic and export earnings, reducing poverty and spurring product innovations. “As a financial institution we are aware of the challenges SMEs face such as access to finance and the lack of financial skills and business management capabilities,” commented Tjijorokisa.
The bank has partnered with organisations such as SME Compete and Fablab, an innovation centre under the Namibian University of Science and Technology, that will help facilitate the programme.

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