Originally published on the ZambianEye
Small and growing business funder GroFin in Zambia has signed an agreement with the Private Enterprise Programme-Zambia (PEPZ) that looks set to provide much-needed funding to help small-scale entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and tap into the local supply chain.
The memorandum of understanding between the two entrepreneurship champions promises to inject a new dynamism into the growing enterprise sector by providing the funds, expertise and contacts for small businesses to break into local markets.
Under the collaboration; PEPZ will introduce small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to GroFin’s Small and Growing Business Fund for the provision of finance and business support.
The move is part of PEPZ’s Business Linkages Programme component that aims to increase the value and quality of goods and services procured from local suppliers by large corporates by improving training and building in-country capacity to enable local SMEs to access wider markets. PEPZ also provides advisory, finance and investment services to SMEs in various sectors, including agribusiness.
The agreement was signed by PEPZ Programme Manager Bayo Akindeinde and GroFin Investment Executive Chibamba Lopa.
“Access to funding is a major barrier to the growth and success of small businesses, not only in Zambia, but worldwide. That is why funding from organisations such as GroFin is so important. In recognising this, PEPZ is able to bridge the gap, helping entrepreneurs to source growth capital while also providing a level of comfort for investors in knowing that they are funding serious, well-managed businesses,” said PEP-Z Business Linkages Manager Andrew Kambobe.
Mr Lopa added: “GroFin believes passionately that the future of the Zambian economy lies in helping entrepreneurs to grow sustainable businesses. For this they need not only capital but also business support services, and this is where our investment combined with PEPZ’s support can make a huge difference.”
GroFin will consider funding SMEs that are locally owned and managed and have less than a 150 employees. Their annual turnover must not exceed US$15 million or gross assets must not exceeding US$6 million.
The SME’s funding needs must be between US$100,000.00 and US$1,500,000.00 and must meet a set of ethical standards.
Under the PEPZ initiative, enthusiastic entrepreneurs will benefit from both business development and technical advisory support including grants to put in place quality management systems for instance that will help in building market linkages with their corporate clients, thereby grow their businesses.
PEPZ’s aim is to strengthen those market linkages and support entrepreneurs so that they are able to supply the quality and consistency of products that is vital for these large processors and suppliers. Specifically, PEPZ aims to contribute to the creation of 40,600 full time jobs, 40 per cent for women; create ZMW300 million in additional investment; help MSMEs be perceived as drivers of job creation and wealth; and change and improve attitudes towards entrepreneurship.
PHOTO: PEPZ Programme Manager Bayo Akindeinde, left, and GroFin Investment Executive Director