- 05 October, 2017:
A half-day workshop on business facilitation and SME financing aiming to create awareness among the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) about the different schemes and facilities put to their avail opened this morning at the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) Industrial Zone in Coromandel.
The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, and representatives of different Ministries and SME banking were present on the occasion.
This initiative of the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives in collaboration with SMEDA aims to accelerate the successful development of start-ups and strengthen existing businesses through an array of business development services.
The objectives of the workshop were to offer a platform to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs who are unaware of these facilities, expose the difficulties they face to access these schemes and facilities, in particular financial plans and the time frame of loans, the issue of self-funding and proper business plans. The workshop will be replicated at other Business Development and Facilitation centres namely, Goodlands, Mahebourg and Bel-Air.
In his address, Minister Bholah stated that Government is committed to providing a conducive environment for the sustainable development of this sector and respond to the changing needs of SMEs in a proactive manner. He further pointed out that access to finance is a major constraint that affects the performance of SMEs and entrepreneurs encounter difficulties in raising finance at the start-up stage and during the development of their businesses.
Consequently, Government's vision in making SMEs one of the main engines of the economy will be hindered if SMEs cannot find the financing mechanisms they need for their projects, he said. The workshop, will thus help to address the various constraints faced by SMEs, in particular the lack of finance, and come forward with measures and a strategic plan that will infuse resilience and productivity to the sector, he added.
Minister Bholah also spoke of the Ten Year Master Plan for the SMEs that outlines various measures to create a thriving and conducive business landscape for them to attain different phases of growth and assume a far more prominent role as an important pillar of the economy. The Master Plan will ensure the targets of raising SMEs’ contribution to GDP up to 52% in the next ten years and increasing exports from 3% to about 18%.
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