The exercise comes after observing that most SMEs have challenges in accessing loans with the government lending institutions.
Speaking in Zomba during a sensitisation meeting for the SMEs in the Eastern Region, NEEF Director, Douglas Chavula said though Fund had opened an opportunity for Malawians to apply for loans, very few were expressing interest to access loans as some lack of knowledge on NEEF and ways to access them.
“This meeting intended to raise awareness among SMEs on how they can access NEEF products and gain knowledge on how to manage their finances and grow their business,” he said.
Chavula said NEEF’s vision was to support many SMEs and to boost the country’s economy adding that, “Currently, we have disbursed about K 18.8 billion to 6,669 groups and 461 individual clients and it is our intention to reach out to as many people as possible.”
Director of Micro, Medium Enterprises in the Ministry of Trade industry, Limbikani Kachiwaya said that for some time, the SMEs faced difficulties in accessing loans from NEEF due to limited knowledge.
“The Ministry in partnership with NEEF decided to have these sensitisations so that we increase number of people accessing finances for various businesses,” he said.
Chiwaya promised to facilitate good favourable business environment for SMEs saying that government would continue to open business opportunities for the SMEs.
One of the participants at the SMEs meeting, Emily Gumulera said the meeting was timely as it provided relevant information on how small scale business people could access loans for their businesses.