NCRST, SME Bank join hands

08 Jul 2016 11:00am
OSHAKATI, 08 JUL (NAMPA) – The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and the SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase the participation of SMEs in the formal economy.
The partnership, which was formed on Thursday, will support Namibia’s SME Sector through the intensification of research, development, mentorship and business development support programmes.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCRST, Dr Eino Mvula in a press release issued on Thursday stated that the relationship between NCRST and SME Bank recognised the need to engage and collaborate, and will bridge the existing gap experienced by SMEs in transforming their ideas and proposals into bankable businesses and enterprises that can be funded by commercial banks.
“Our approach will be deliberate and will support the Government’s strategic intent to develop and harness human resource capacity, to contribute towards employment creation and SME driven economic growth, propelled by the youth, furthermore, we believe both the NCRST and SME Bank have a role to play in contributing to the sub-pillar of Youth Enterprise Development under the Harambee Prosperity Plan”, said Mvula.
According to Mvula, the activities to be supported include the promotion and implementation of an Entrepreneurship Development Programme which will be launched early August this year.
The agreement will also see the development of a a Business Linkages Programme which links SMEs to large corporate or commercial companies to further their growth and development, while the the up-scaling of NCRST funded innovation projects that demonstrate potential for growth will also be addressed through the partnership.
The MoU also seeks to establish a programme that bridges support for SME Bank applicants to enhance their bankability through Research and Development; and any other strategic Flagship Programme as agreed upon by the two institutions.
“Implementation of the activities will be undertaken through a Joint Technical Committee comprising representatives from both institutions”, he added.