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Trade ministry assists small businesses

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has various programmes and facilities in place to assist the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector to establish and grow their businesses, said Tjekero Tweya, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry this week.
“The Equipment Aid Fund, for example, aims at assisting SMEs to acquire manufacturing equipment needed to increase their production potential,” said Tweya.
According to the Deputy Minister, under programmes such as the Product Development Services programme within the trade promotion division, SMEs are assisted in product development, labelling, packaging and marketing of their product, while the Ministry equally assist SMEs with developing business plans and conducting feasibility studies under industrial development programme.
Tweya further said that SMEs are often invited to participate in trade missions abroad to expose them to potential business linkages as part of the ministry’s export marketing assistance programme (EMAP).
“It is, however, up to the individual entrepreneurs to tap into those programmes to see how best they can utilise the programmes and facilities to their own benefit,” he added.
Tweya urged all financial institutions to partner with government and assist SMEs with much needed start-up capital and to review their existing lending policies.
“It would go a long way in our efforts to ensure an industrialised Namibia, if the financial sector can partner with government to provide continued training and mentor ship to the SMEs. I also urge the retail shops to allow locally produced goods of SMEs onto their shelves with the necessary prominence,” he said.

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