Bank Windhoek last week concluded its series of workshops at the coast with more than 90 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Swakopmund receiving training from the bank’s Emerging Small and Medium Enterprises (ESME) branch.
In total, 194 SMEs, from the farming, retail, manufacturing, transportation and construction sectors, have so far this year participated in the workshops that were held in cooperation with the local authorities of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis.
“SMEs often complain about their loans being declined and then not receiving adequate explanation and feedback as to why. Part of our workshop aimed to explain the bank’s process and prerequisites for lending. It also entailed explaining how SMEs can position themselves more favourably by doing proper due diligence before approaching financial institutions, and how to prepare business plans,” says Mbo Luvindao, manager at the ESME branch.
Participants’ feedback was positive since they appreciated the fact that Bank Windhoek took the initiative to visit them and give them this information. These were the first three workshops in Bank Windhoek’s proactive approach to engage its SME clients for future business success.
“Studies done globally and in Namibia have indicated that in order to deal with the challenges of SMEs, a holistic approach must be taken. Simply improving access to finance, though a major challenge, will not solve all the challenges that SMEs face. Education is key to the sustainability of Namibia’s SME industry. This is best achieved when the private and public sectors work together,” Luvindao said.
The Bank Windhoek SME branch also has a mentoring programme aimed at equipping SMEs with the necessary business management skills to make a success of their businesses.
“With these workshops we bring education closer to our clients in rural areas,” Luvindao said.