GIS – 23 December, 2015: Government wants to boost entrepreneurship and foster conditions in which rapid-growth companies can thrive, said the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, while outlining the achievements of his Ministry for 2015 this morning at a press conference in Port Louis.
In his address, the Minister pointed out that Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) represent some 40 percent to GDP and employ over 280 000 people in some 108 000 establishments. In a bid to provide support, financing and information as well as the delivery of all permits and licences that SMEs require to start and grow their businesses, Mybiz, a One-Stop Shop was launched this month, he said.
Mybiz is managed by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA), and houses several Units, namely: General Business Development Services Unit; Licensing, Permits, Clearances and Registration Unit; Productivity Improvement, Certification, Capacity Building and Research and Development Unit; and Incubator and Industrial Estates Facilities Unit, amongst others.
On the same score, the Maubank (SME Bank) was launched with a view to provide seed capital to entrepreneurs without any need for personal guarantee. According to Minister Bholah, the bank will be operational as from January 2016. A total of Rs 10 billion will be made available over the next five years, starting with a share capital of Rs 200 million and a line of credit of Rs 2 billion from Government for Maubank’s first year of operation.
In line with the Government Programme 2015-2019 which aims at promoting SMEs as the main engine of growth, Government has announced the construction of industrial parks for SMEs in various parts of the country. A third SME park will be set up at La Valette and four others are to be constructed at Plaine Magnien, Petit Bois Caroline, Solitude and Vuillemin.
Given that SMEs play a key role in transition and developing countries, the Minister announced the preparation of a ten-year Master Plan for the SME sector so as to determine its new orientation.
As regards the Cooperative sector, Mr Bholah recalled that a three-year Action Plan 2015-2017 for re-engineering of the sector was launched this year. It sets out the programmes and activities that assists in the re-engineering and rejuvenation of the cooperative movement in Mauritius.
The Action Plan comprises 16 ongoing and future programmes having the overall objectives of enhancing the cooperative movement and focuses on several initiatives such as: revisiting the legal framework to facilitate the operation of cooperatives with regard to the changing socio-economic environment whilst at the same time increasing transparency and accountability; enhancing human resource capacity through training programmes conducted by National Institute for Cooperative Entrepreneurship and provision of other support services; and innovating with new sectors in the field of green energy whilst reaching out to more youth and women.