Query: What is the Equipment Aid Scheme?
Response: The Equipment Aid Scheme was initiated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2009 (now Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development). This intervention is aimed at boosting the production capacity of the informal and formal SME sector by assisting SMEs to acquire production equipment and technologies. This scheme is designed to create an environment for self-employment; strengthen capacities of SME entrepreneurs as well SME service providers; and develop entrepreneurial spirit and skills through technology acquisition.
The scheme further targets SMEs in all 14 regions, primarily in the manufacturing sector. To support the graduation of SMEs and other small business into the economic mainstream, additional support is provided to establish businesses that are already in operation at the level of producing goods and services that might need further product development diversification to improve the quality of their goods and services, as well as to increase their production and clientele.
Query: What is the procedure for applying for the equipment aid and what are the requirements?
Response: Anyone with a business is allowed to apply. The request in the form of a letter should be submitted to the regional office of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development in your region. This letter has to be addressed to the chairperson of the Equipment Aid Scheme, outlining a brief introduction of yourself and your business idea. It is advised that you give as much information as possible such as the location of the business, the number of current and foreseen employees. Applicants should also provide valid reasons why they need assistance. The following relevant documents are to be attached and should accompany the request: the business owner’s ID as well as the company’s registration. Finally the applicants must attach three quotations from different suppliers quoting similar item(s).
Query: The Ministry of Trade and Industry through its equipment aid scheme needs to speed up the process of assisting SMEs. We want to create employment for others and end poverty in Namibia.
Response: After receiving an equipment aid request, the ministry takes exactly a month to process the application and provide a response in writing to the applicant. However, a delay may be experienced due to a backlog dating as far as 2009 that our staff are still handling. The ministry would like to assure the public that the problem is being attended to and a mechanism has been put in place to ensure timely responses to equipment aid application(s).
• Elijah Mukubonda, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org