Since March 2023, Bank Windhoek has disbursed N$50 million to support the Namibian Government’s Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Economic Recovery Loan Scheme launched in February. The news was shared on Tuesday, 9 May 2023, by Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer of Business Banking, Leon Koch, who encouraged eligible SMEs to approach the Bank for assistance.
“As a connector of positive change, we support the development of SMEs because they play a crucial role in the Namibian economy through value creation in various sectors and also assisting in reducing unemployment,” said Koch.
The SME Economic Recovery Loan Scheme is an initiative the Namibian Government introduced in partnership with several local banking institutions, including Bank Windhoek and the Bank of Namibia. "It aims to stimulate economic growth and job creation by providing additional funding to SME businesses to enable them to continue to pay their operational expenses and to retain and pay their employees, also referred to as working capital," he said.
Koch added that through this scheme, Bank Windhoek would extend loans to qualifying SMEs at the Prime Lending Rate of less than 0.5 percent. He explained that the obligation to pay the interest and capital on these loans is deferred for six months from the day of signing the agreement.
He also emphasised that the critical qualifying criteria for Bank Windhoek are that the SME customer should have an existing relationship with Bank Windhoek through lending or transactional banking. “They should also be a registered business entity with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA), including a sole proprietorship. The customers should also have a maximum annual turnover not exceeding sixty million Namibia dollars per annum,” he said.
Koch also said that to qualify for assistance, the applicant should not have previously participated or have any existing SME Economic Recovery Loan with Bank Windhoek or any other financial institution.
The economic slowdown experienced since 2016 severely impacted Businesses and SME businesses specifically. The Government created the scheme to assist SMEs during challenging financial situations.
Click here to learn more about the Scheme.
To apply, SMEs can visit any Bank Windhoek branch. Alternatively, they can contact the Bank’s Customer Contact Centre at Tel: +264 61 299 1200.