SMEs benefit from entrepreneurship fund

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

The Zimbabwe National Co-operative Federation Small and Medium Enterprises (ZNCF SMEs) on Wednesday made its first disbursement to beneficiaries of its entrepreneurship fund aimed at helping small business owners boost their businesses.

The Federation Investment Entrepreneurship Fund (FIEF) was launched in Mutare last year to create opportunities for entrepreneurs who lack start-up finance.
Six beneficiaries received loans ranging between $200 and $3 000.

ZNCF SMEs president Mike Duru said they were aiming to avail loans on a monthly basis to small, medium and large business owners.

He said the money would help people capitalise their projects.

“We are here today (yesterday) to hand over to our members who successfully applied for the FIEF. We are starting with six people, from those who successfully applied our lowest figure is $200 while $3 000 is our highest figure,” Duru said.

“This fund is aimed at giving funds to those who are into business, even start-ups, So far we have already 265 people who have joined this initiative.
Remember that all the beneficiaries are not giving us collateral because people fear giving such things as their houses as collateral. We need to help people to move away from poverty. We need people to do sustainable economic development projects that would assist them in their lives.”

The organisation has opened a branch in Hauna while more would be launched in Beitbridge and Gweru.

ZNCF SMEs will work with local banks to assist entrepreneurs boost their operations.

Metbank Mutare branch operations manager Tshamano Zinyama said: “As we come together with FIEF, we are going to help the ordinary citizens with loans. There is no collateral, but we have trust in Zimbabweans that they will return the loans.”