A new enterprise support fund has been launched in Malawi through a partnership involving some South African investors as well as the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The US$10 million (K4.1 billion) Business Partners International Malawi SME Fund will provide specialist sectoral knowledge and technical assistance support to viable small and medium scale enterprises in Malawi.
Sources from World Bank and repoters around the country have confirmed of the development.
Indigenous owned, rural-based and female owned enterprises which are compliant to regulations such as tax compliance will be given special consideration when evaluating applications, according to Business Partners International (BPI) Malawi Country Manager Fosters Kalaile.
“The fund is aimed at risk finance to local entrepreneurs and SMEs,” said Kalaile.
She was speaking in Blantyre Thursday during a Business Breakfast to mark the launch of the fund in the country. Newly elected Blantyre city Mayor Noel Chalamanda was among the guests who graced the event.
Kalaile said the focus of the fund will be to provide access to funding and post investment technical support for SMEs, thereby stimulating wealth creation, increasing employment and fostering local entrepreneurship in the country.
She said applicants may qualify for financing between K20 million and K435 million if they have a viable owner managed business, integrity, drive and experience to manage a successful independent enterprise and that the repayment period will range from three to five years.
“Should the application be considered viable, a customized investment and added value solution will be developed for the business taking into account whether the entrepreneur has a capital contribution or any other form of security to offer,” said Kalaile.
However, even applicants without capital contributions or security will be considered as long as they have sound and viable business proposals.
“Individual deals will be structured accordingly,” said Kalaile.
She said BPI can support an enterprise through debt or equity or a combination of both. Sectors targeted for support include light manufacturing, production, transport, retail, hospitality, commercial property, services, information technology and others but businesses dealing in primary farming, tobacco, arms and alcohol trading will not be considered, according to Kalaile.