Biest Launches N$20 Million SME Tender Fund

SAYING it was ‘passionate about SME development’, Biest Namibia has launched a fund to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to comply with tender requirements.

The fund, launched on Monday, is called the Biest Namibia Enterprise Development Fund and is aimed at providing procurement financing options to SMEs.

Biest Namibia’s chief executive officer Sebby Kankondi said the product was developed in response to a development need.

He said the company made N$20 million available to allow a credit facility for SMEs in order to meet tender requirements.

To qualify, SMEs must produce a tender contract that was awarded to them by a large organisation, e.g. government ministry, state-owned enterprises, or large private entity.

A further condition is that SMEs must use the loan to purchase the supplies needed for the tender from any of the participating Biest Namibia entities.

Kankondi described the product as another innovative way of the group to creating opportunities and building people.

“Biest Namibia remains committed to offering high quality products and services that stimulate mutual benefits for growth,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya said during the launch that SMEs are the backbone of the Namibian economy.

“We at the Ministry of Trade and Industry recognise the development of the SME sector as one of the ways of reducing inequalities within the country’s socioeconomic environment to empower previously-disaantaged Namibians, as well as diversify the economy and promote economic growth,” Tweya said.

As part of government’s efforts to support SMEs, the Tender Board of Namibia in 2012 recommended changes to the Ministry of Finance on public procurement policy.

The changes meant that wholly-owned Namibian companies registered as SMEs, now receive preferential allocation of tenders of up to N$15 million.

In the last financial year, the ministry acquired equipment under the equipment aid scheme valued at N$37,9 million, for more than 572 recipients.

The fund will be administered by the Namibia Procurement Fund’s (NamProfund) administrators, Business Financial Solutions (BFS).

Application forms are available at the BFS offices and website, as well as on the Biest Namibia website

The participating entities include Waltons Namibia, Voltex Namibia, Biest Namibia, Steiner, Kolok Namibia, Konica Minolta and Cecil Nurse.

Source : The Namibian