Building the capacity of SMEs for increased profitability
There are four key sub-activities under this main activity. These include preparation (selection of beneficiaries and development of training modules), training of selected SMEs, linking of SMEs to financial institutions for financial services, and establishment of a revolving fund for selected SME associations.
Preparation: Selection of SMEs
First of all, registered SMEs will be invited (through their associations) to express their interest in being trained. About 150 SMEs will be selected from various associations for training and support.
Organise capacity building workshops
The action will train the 150 selected SMEs (with more than half owned by women) in packaging and branding; quality finishing, control and assurance; exporting standards and certification; Occupational Safety, Health, and Environmental Management (OSHEM); market and marketing for export; records keeping; working capital management; loan sourcing; regulatory requirement; and rate and tax payment to the Municipal Assembly. The training workshops will be organized by the BAC in collaboration with OLIVES.
Establish revolving fund
A revolving fund will be set up for trained SMEs through their associations to provide repayable soft loans to individual SMEs for business expansion. The fund will be managed by the BAC in collaboration with a financial institution. This will help beneficiary SMEs to partly surmount the challenge of access to capital for business expansion, to take advantage of opportunities existing in both the domestic and international markets, and make sufficient profit.
Facilitate access to credit facilities from financial institutions
To supplement the soft loans from the revolving fund, trained SMEs will be linked to financial institutions to facilitate their (SMEs) access to credit facilities. The BAC will guide associations to prepare Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between them (associations) and specific rural banks and micro-financial institutions in the municipality. These MoUs will facilitate the provision of loan facilities to SMEs by the financial institutions under mutually-beneficial terms and agreements. The BAC has tested and proven this MoU strategy to be an effective mechanism for facilitating access to loan services for SMEs. Further, financial institutions will be given a platform to market their products to SMEs using one of the training workshop sessions.