GIS - 14 December, 2018: Three new schemes of the SME Mauritius Ltd and Phase II of the SME Portal project, were launched yesterday in Port-Louis. The schemes are: Certification Scheme, SME Productivity Improvement Programme, and, Foreign Expertise and Technical Assistance Scheme.
The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Chief Executive Officer of SME Mauritius Ltd, Mr Ravin Rampersad, and other personalities were present. These schemes will facilitate access to new markets, reinforce the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and enhance their visibility. Phase II of the SME Portal project is an extension of Phase I which was initiated with the implementation of the smemu.org website.
In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted that Government aims at instilling an entrepreneurship spirit among the population as well as providing assistance for the development of SMEs. The schemes launched, he emphasised, will help address a number of existing challenges in terms of fierce competition on the market, costs of operation and training as well as urge SMEs to adapt to international standards for better quality of products and services. The key to survival on the market, he reiterated, is to develop a sustainable approach towards doing business and ensure that SMEs live up to the expectations of the clients.
With regard to the SME Portal, the Minister underscored that it will enable the creation of an ecosystem which is beneficial to entrepreneurs and increase interaction between the SME Mauritius Ltd and the enterprises. The latter will henceforth be able to register and also acquire their certifications online and as such delays in administrative procedures will be reduced.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rampersad, pointed out that Phase II of the SME Portal project, will transform the existing website into a one-stop point for SMEs to access services offered by the organisation, hence, extrapolating capabilities of the website towards being a Portal.
The users, he indicated, will be able to create an online profile to register themselves as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and also as Tradesman. Thus, they will be able to track and follow-up applications through email notifications and benefit from hassle-free administrative procedures, he added.
More about the schemes
The Certification Scheme will assist SMEs to acquire National and/or International standards and thus help them to standardise their inputs and processes, increase productivity and access new markets. The average cost for an SME adopting the abovementioned certifications is estimated at Rs 300,000 including surveillance audits, testing and certification. A grant of 80% of the certification cost, up to a maximum of Rs 200,000 would be provided by the SME Mauritius Ltd, while the beneficiary will have to contribute to the 20% thereof.
The SME Productivity Improvement Programme will help improve the internal systems and processes existing in SMEs so as to create internal conditions for the improvement of the processes and production thereby minimising delays and waste, reducing costs and improving quality. It will also cater for a grant of 20% of the cost of Productivity Improvement Programme, up to a maximum of Rs 50,000 which would be provided by the SME Mauritius Ltd.
The Foreign Expertise and Technical Assistance Scheme will enable the consolidation of the handicraft sector by bringing in foreign experts to address multiple challenges the sector faces with regard to capacity building, product and process re-design and local raw materials sourcing and usage.
SMEs who wish to benefit from these schemes need to be registered with the SME Registration Unit and have an annual turnover not exceeding Rs 50 million.
The SME Portal
The portal also includes features such as live chats; forum for mentoring; matching of products between buyers and sellers; and, documentation centre containing examples of contracts and catalogue of available products and services.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gis.govmu.org