COMESA sets up SMEs Fund

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya has disclosed the setting up of a COMESA Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) fund to help grow the sector.

Mr Ngwenya has told a Lusaka Press Club breakfast meeting today that an initial $5 million will be injected into the fund.

He explains that 25% of the profit to be realized from the loan facility will be channeled towards capacity building of the SMEs.

Mr Ngwenya says COMESA realizes the importance of the SME sector and therefore wants the SMEs to grow into bigger companies.

He adds that COMESA wants to consolidate the Free Trade Area (FTA) through the SME capacity building.

Mr Ngwenya has also indicated that the COMESA SME Fund will be biased towards women entrepreneurs because of their repayment capacity and as a way of contributing towards women empowerment.