The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) challenged financial institutions to establish a bank that will cater for the needs of the small-to-medium enterprises (SME) in the country.
In a speech read on his behalf by Munyaradzi Kereke at the ongoing SMEs international expo, RBZ governor Gideon Gono said investors should look at numerous opportunities in the SME sector to harness financial resources lying idle in the informal sector.
“The proposed bank would help transform the retained earnings and informal savings schemes in the country’s unbanked communities and add value to them by on- lending to viable, but underfunded SMEs” Gono said.
He said in the first quarter of this year a total of $178 300 was availed by National Social Security Authority(NSSA) to Small Enterprises Development Corporation for SMEs.
Gono said the money supported 337 projects and created 50 new jobs and sustained 83 others. He said recognising the critical role played by the SMEs, the government has been supporting Sedco.
Last year NSSA made available $1,3 million to fund 1 971 projects in 10 provinces.
“This funding helped create 322 new jobs, while sustaining an additional 2 934 others. More than 50% of these projects supported women,” Gono said.
He said Sedco also disbursed $2,4 million from its own resources, which benefited 1 396 people.