Standard Bank investing in SME development

15 Mar 2016 09:00am
WINDHOEK, 15 MAR (NAMPA) – Standard Bank Namibia has invested over N.dollars 750 000 in the training and coaching of 25 owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to sharpen their business management skills and financial acumen.
Standard Bank Namibia's Board Company Secretary and Head of Corporate Social Investment, Advocate Sigrid Tjijorokisa said this during the launch of the company's SME Training Programme here on Monday.
Tjijorokisa said the year-long programme aims to assist selected SMEs with business training and mentorship that will be facilitated by the SME Competitiveness Consultancy - SMEs Compete - with the use of a prototyping laboratory at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) - FabLab Namibia.
SME clients acquiring the Standard Bank SME programme will further be supplemented by a monthly newspaper publication which will provide them with business and financial management tips as well as breakfast sessions - one in each region.
Tjijorokisa explained that the programme is geared towards giving SMEs the tools to promote their growth and development in the economy.
“SMEs require skills and networks like these to grow,” she noted.
The company has identified 25 SMEs from all 14 regions with the help of SMEs Compete and FabLab Namibia at Nust based on their business profiles.
“There are no specific criteria to select the beneficiaries of this programme,” she said.
FabLab Namibia is the first advanced manufacturing, prototyping and design laboratory in Namibia which was established by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to enhance local product competitiveness.
Meanwhile, SMEs Compete's Director Danny Meyer said the SME consultant firm will assist SMEs to change the way they are doing business to do better, and how to market their businesses.
Meyer supported the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development’s 'Growth at Home' strategy that aims to accelerate economic growth, reducing income inequality and increasing employment.
SMEs Compete is responsible for improving the entrepreneurial, management, marketing and information technology skills of local SMEs.