Overwhelming need for SME financing from commercial banks
The dire need for easier small business financing was vividly demonstrated last week when 570 MSME owners registered for a financing symposium where only 40 hopefulls could be accommodated.
In collarboration with a commercial bank, the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board conducted a one-day symposium for small business owners to show them the ropes how to improve their chances of accessing financing from the formal banking sector, in this case, Bank Windhoek.
The bank’s Head of SME, Financial and Data Analytics, Bianca Janse Van Vuuren and her team informed the participants what the requirements are for both account and loan applications. High on the list is a number of critieria to determine a prospective borrower’s credit worthiness. She encouraged the entrepreneurs to have meaningful discussions with the bank on financing for a win-win situation.
“We understand that it is challenging to be a businessperson. As a result, we are here to assist where we can and continue to build on a meaningful business relationship,” said Van Vuuren.
The bank’s Business Banking i-lounge team engaged the entrepreneurs on a one-on-one basis. “The feedback we received was positive. It highlighted the mammoth task of adequately serving the SME sector. The responsibility is now on us to strategize and develop products and services that can cater for this sector in all the various stages of the business, for example, the start-up and growth phases,” said the bank’s Manager of Emerging SMEs, Jenevieve Swartz.