05 Dec 2013 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 05 DEC (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Thursday handed over equipment to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Khomas Region.
Some 78 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) received the equipment worth N.dollars 9 million, ranging from sewing machines to butchery and construction equipment under the Ministrys Equipment Aid Scheme.
Since the introduction of the scheme by the MTI in 2010, more than 300 people have benefited from it, while 1 444 direct jobs have been created in the Khomas Region only.
This number is expected to increase to 2 000 direct jobs this year.
Handing-over the equipment in the capital, Deputy Minister Tjekero Tweya congratulated the beneficiaries, and urged them to become job-creators and not job-seekers.
Government recognises their innovation by assisting them with equipment to grow their businesses, he added.
This equipment belongs to the government, but is handed over to you. Put it to good use. If you decide not to pursue your dream any longer, please return the equipment to Government to be handed over to those who need it, he cautioned.
He then called on the financial sector to provide financial assistance in the form of loans to SMEs.
Respond to the SMEs needs without asking for collateral, he advised.
The financial sector has a tendency of indirectly denying SMEs loans with the requirement that they provide collateral.
When the SMEs ask for a small amount of money as a loan, the banks say the amount is too small for a loan.
When they (SMEs) ask for a big amount of money, the banks say the amount is too big and needs collateral, he stressed, adding that this situation is not conducive to the growth of SMEs in the country.
Meanwhile, Khomas Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua urged the recipients to really put the equipment to good use.
Use the equipment for the intended purpose, and let it improve your business, she noted.
Said McLeod-Katjirua: You are now employers, so employ people other than your family members (only).