Small and Medium Enterprise Associations under the National Association of Business Women (NABIW) have lamented challenges that the SMEs led women are facing to access capital.
According to NABIW executive director Barbara Banda, much as access to market is also a challenge that the women SMSs are grappling with, access to finance from both government and financial lending institutions is a cause of concern.
Speaking to Yoneco FM, Banda said there is need for government to institute measures that can assist women having access to capital which have favourable interest rates.
Said Banda: “So our biggest challenge is in terms of accessing finance and capital that is both accessible and interest rates that Malawian SMEs can access.”
“We are having issues with markets, we are also having issues with technology, capacity and also governance in our institutions.”
Reacting to the concern, Minister of Industry Roy Kachale Banda admitted that government is aware of the existing challenges that the SMSs are currently facing and cited lack of information among the associations as one of the contributing factors.
“These are some of the challenges that we are talking about because to begin with some of the SMEs do not have the capital to go into the order of contracts and so we are saying this financing under the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF),” he said.
“Only that the SMEs didn’t know that is exists and therefore it is forums like this all the National Association that we want to talk about that is going to disseminate this information, to make it available to our SMEs so that they can take advantage.”