Development Bank now ready to finance SMEs
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Manager of Corporate Communications, Jerome Mutumba said that the Bank is at an advanced stage in preparing for additional applications for the financing of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), in the wake of the suspension of SME Bank operations.
According to Mutumba, these preparations include recruitment of some former SME Bank business analysts, as well as the opening of a dedicated SME Centre adjacent to the Bank’s headquarters in Windhoek. In addition to processing applications from SMEs received from the Bank’s headquarters, all DBN branches are also geared to serve SMEs, Mutumba said.
According to Mutumba prospective applicants should familiarize themselves with the Bank’s financial solutions and its requirements by visiting their website, where the Bank’s application form can also be downloaded.
Mutumba added that DBN finance is intended to have a positive development impact in the economy. Aligned to strategic national priorities, approval of DBN finance rests on sustainability of the SME business or project, and the ability of the business to repay the loan.
“The Bank wants to assure itself of the prosperity of the owner, the employees, the satisfaction of stakeholders, and a contribution to the national economy,” Mutumba said.
Mutumba said that the application process is designed to identify applications with the greatest development impact, including employment creation, economic participation for previously disadvantaged Namibians, enterprise activity in regions with low levels of economic activity, and innovation.
The Bank has previously stated that it is seeking opportunities to finance enterprises in the fields of transport and logistics, manufacturing, and tourism. It has also signalled its intent to provide finance for enterprises that address the shortage of affordable land and housing, and generation of electricity.
“Based on historical trends, the Bank expects demand for asset finance and term loans for start-ups and expansion, but the Bank also avail s operating capital, contract-based finance, and performance guarantees,” he added.
Mutumba concluded and said that although the Bank is primarily focused on larger enterprise finance, it has a strong track-record in the field of SME finance, and is drawing on its accumulated skills to fill the current gap in the market, and preserve the valuable contribution that SMEs are making to the economy.