Bank Windhoek and Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) held an information sharing session today with 22 small and medium enterprises in Oshakati.

The meeting, which was co-hosted with the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI)’s Ongwediva Branch, served as a platform to present and explain the various SME finance products offered by Bank Windhoek, as well as the business support services provided by NIPDB.

“These types of opportunities don’t come so often, therefore we the SMEs must appreciate them,” said Ms Amalia Schmidt as she did the welcoming remarks.

Schmidt, who is the deputy chairperson of the NCCI’s Ongwediva Branch, has been in business for 22 years, and she encouraged the 22 entrepreneurs who turned up at the information sharing to make use of the opportunity presented by Bank Windhoek and NIPDB.

“Banks come a long way in looking at how to finance us. We business people have to say what we need. We need to think outside the box. The bank is here to listen to us. Mostly it is a matter of not understanding each other.

“One thing we must know is that the bank is not here to do us favours. Banks are for business. We must be for business as well so we meet each other half way for business.”

Ms Nankelo Amupadhi, who is the head of the enterprise development unit at the NIPDB explained that the NIPDB was established in order to coordinate micro, small and medium enterprise activities across all levers of the economy and implement the National MSME Policy through targeted support for the establishment and scalability of MSMEs and start-ups.

Together with her colleagues, Ms Chamell Plaatjies and Maria Namukwambi, Amupadhi explained the role of NIPDB and its activities, as well as telling the local entrepreneurs to have a mindset of taking their businesses to another level.

“Banks are about money. If they tell you otherwise, it is a lie,” Amupadhi said. “Therefore as an entrepreneur you must have a mindset of borrowing from the bank in order to make money.”

Mr Ileni Kandume and Ms Wilika Endyala then gave presentations on how to access Bank Windhoek’s SME finance products, before Ms Jenevieve Swartz gave an overview of the SME Economic Recovery Loan Scheme which is being provided by Bank of Namibia through commercial banks.

“We recognise that SMEs are the backbone of our economy, therefore this is not the last session, but as a bank we will be doing more of these type of engagements with you in future,” said Swartz.

In the photo: Group photo of those who were at the SME information session.