Reflecting on a Year of New Beginnings, Awareness Creation and Growth

Reflecting on a Year of New Beginnings, Awareness Creation and Growth
By Bank Windhoek’s Head of SME, Financial and Data Analytics, Bianca Janse Van Vuuren.

According to the United Nations, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises constitute over 95 per cent of all enterprises and account for two-thirds to one-half of total non-farm employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worldwide. In the Namibian context, SMEs play a pivotal role in shaping the country's future and realising the Government's Vision 2030 Agenda, which aims to transform Namibia into an industrialised, food secure and prosperous nation.

Namibia is well-positioned to capitalise on the strengths of its SME sector. By nurturing and supporting these enterprises, we can unlock a brighter future filled with innovation, economic growth, and abundant opportunities for all Namibians. Bank Windhoek understands this and actively supports the SME sector in line with Namibia’s National Development Agenda. For instance, Bank Windhoek’s SME Division has marked a year of noteworthy achievements, showcasing its commitment to supporting businesses and driving economic growth.

Throughout 2023, the Bank’s SME Division has demonstrated a keen understanding of the unique challenges faced by SMEs. This understanding is evident in the Bank’s participation in the SME Economic Recovery Loan Scheme, an initiative the Namibian Government introduced in partnership with several local banking institutions, including Bank Windhoek. The SME Economic Recovery Loan Scheme 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, acquire machinery and retain and pay their employees. The Government created the scheme to assist SMEs during challenging financial situations.

To date Bank Windhoek has assisted 111 SMEs with a total value of N$152 million in SME Economic Recovery Loans with a further loan to the value of over N$11 million, approved, pending disbursement. These funds were disbursed to SMEs who were in good standing with the Bank and complied with the requirements of the Scheme.

Collaboration and information-sharing sessions are key

Collaboration has been a critical theme for the SME Division over the past year. Strengthening ties with stakeholders, the Division engaged in various information-sharing sessions with the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), One Economy Foundation, and the Financial Literacy Initiative. This collaborative approach facilitated a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by SMEs and how financial institutions can assist them in navigating these challenges.

To ensure access to information for all, Bank Windhoek’s SME Division hosted information-sharing sessions in Windhoek and Northern Namibia. These initiatives aimed to equip entrepreneurs with financial services knowledge and skills. The sessions were well attended, and the Bank will continue hosting them in the new year countrywide.

Looking ahead, the Bank Windhoek’s SME Division remains committed to driving growth and prosperity for small and medium-sized enterprises. Despite facing various challenges, Namibian SMEs have proven their resilience and ability to innovate, remaining a vital source of new job opportunities. Their agility and close connection with local communities also make them a crucial platform for empowering women and the youth and assisting in reducing unemployment. As a proud Namibian financial institution, Bank Windhoek will continue to partner with, support and develop SMEs.


Capricorn Group(CGP) Share Price:   
Currency Exchange Rates to N$: