Staff Writer

Standard Bank Namibia has announced that it has partnered with the Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) to provide collateral cover of 60 percent for qualifying SMEs applying for finance from participating commercial finance institutions.

Standard Bank’s Enterprise Direct Manager, Felicia Jooste said the decision by the listed banking concern , is driven by a genuine desire to see SME’s grow and thrive in difficult economic conditions.

“We are determined to help our small and medium businesses navigate these difficult prevailing conditions, hence the reason we joined the Credit Guarantee Scheme. SME’s are the lifeblood of the economy and employ thousands of people across various sectors,” she said.

“We have undertaken various initiatives to support our SME’s and we found the CGS to be an additional and worthwhile undertaking to participate in, not only to help them grow as companies but also to help them grow the country’s economy and by so doing alleviate a number of our social challenges.”

Launched in August 2020 by Minister of Finance Ipumbu Shiimi, the CGS provides collateral cover of 60 percent for qualifying SMEs that apply for finance from participating commercial finance institutions.

The CGS caters for SMEs with viable business plans that lack collateral to obtain loans. Commercial finance institutions require collateral to preserve their capital in the event of businesses being unable to repay their loans. By insuring credit granted to qualifying SMEs, the Scheme substantially reduces the collateral requirement for qualifying SMEs by 60 percent.

SMEs that may qualify for the Scheme are identified by the participating financial institution in terms of their own assessment of the bankability of the business plan.

Seeded with N$98 million from the Government and the Bank of Namibia, the CGS is operated as a smart partnership between Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), Namibia Special Risks Insurance Association (NASRIA) and the participating financial institutions.

Commenting about the CGS, DBN Chief Executive Officer, Martin Inkumbi said that he hopes to see all financial institutions lending to SMEs joining the scheme.

“The national policy is striving to develop economic activity in Namibia through establishing a conducive environment for SME startups and growth,” he said.