FOCUS Financial services has made available K2 million investment capital to 20 small scale enterprises (SMES) finalists taking part in the Nyamuka business plan competition to help the start on sound footings, says Focus deputy group chief executive George Mubipe.
Nyamuka Zambia is part of the five-year Private Enterprise Programme-Zambia (PEP), funded by the United Kingdom government.
Mr Mubipe said this during the signing of the funding memorandum of understanding (M0U) between the PEP- Zambia and Focus Financial Services aimed at providing working capital required by SMEs to start up businesses.
Mr Mubipe said the MoU was consistent with Focus, aim to support SMEs to create opportunity and build their capacity to participate in economic activity as well as foster SME growth for long term sustainability.
He said Focus was aware of the highly enterprising and diverse needs of SMEs that came from various sectors in the economy.
He said his company knew that SMEs often encountered stumbling blocks in the form of bureaucratic processes and onerous demands from traditional sources of finance.
“Focus is making available a sum of K2 million to those winners of Nyamuka Zambia business plan to provide the much needed support that SMEs do need, this will help them overcome financial challenges,” he said.
He said his organisation had continued to expand its services for the benefit of SMEs after observing that many of them were disadvantaged to access finance from banks
“Focus had to think differently in order to become a real solutions provider to this high growth sector. Our model is a departure from the complexity of traditional finance defined by highly convoluted and lengthy decision-making processes,’’ he said.
Mr Mubipe said the private sector was the main driver of economic growth in any country in the world.
“We believe our partnership with PEP Zambia will challenge SMEs to plan ahead for growth and consider the resources including finance to ensure that those plans come to light,” he said.
He said Focus provided finances suitable to the SMEs including short term working capital.
“We are excited to announce that we recently scaled up our leasing business to secure equipment without advance payments,” he said.
And PEP Zambia programme manager Bayo Akindeinde said the K2 million would help ease the financial challenges faced by SMEs.
He said the MoU was based on mutual interest between Focus and PEP.