SMEDCO disburses $10m to small businesses

THE Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SMEDCO) says it has disbursed about $10 million to assist growth of small businesses in the country in the last two years.

Head of marketing and corporate communication, Mr Tafadzwa Mushaikwa, said his institution was keen to play a key role in empowering budding entrepreneurs and contributing to fulfillment of the country’s upper middle income vision by 2030.

“We would like to double our efforts from the two previous years, all things being equal. In the last two years SMEDCO has disbursed close to $10 million,” he said.

“SMEDCO’s role is to promote MSMEs . . . by providing funding and development solutions, thus in line with the vision for sustainable economic development so that by 2030 Government will achieve its goal of having an empowered upper middle class society.

“MSMEs play an important role in the development of any economy and SMEDCO is here to serve.”

SMEDCO was founded in terms of the SMEs Act, Chapter 24:12 and has since inception been working with MSMEs in the country to meet their peculiar needs.

The institution provides both financial and non-financial services to MSMEs.

These include but are not limited to lending, training, advise, infrastructure provision, and capacity building.

SMEDCO operates six branches in the main cities that serve the 10 provinces. Branch locations are found in Harare, Bindura, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo.

“Harare and Bulawayo branches cover three provinces each, with officers assigned specifically to each province. Various delivery channels are being explored to bring the corporation’s products nearer to the consumers,” said Mr Mushaikwa.

He said loan repayments have been very encouraging with a collection rate above 90 percent despite the prevailing economic challenges.

“We are encouraged by the resilience of these clients. The upper-cap (loan) is reviewed from time to time, informed by SMEDCO’s own capital base. Currently our average loan size is +/- $RTGS50,000. We encourage MSMEs to apply for funding that will suit their business requirements and their capacity to repay the loan,” said Mr Mushaikwa.

He said SMEDCO would stick to professional guidelines and transparency in disbursing loans and giving all stakeholders equal opportunity.–

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