The Development Bank of Mauritius (DBM) will set up three business parks at Baladirou, in Rodrigues, and at Vuillemin and Plaine Magnien, in Mauritius, announced the Management Director of the DBM, Mr Jaywant Pandoo, this morning, at the DBM Head Office in Port-Louis, during a press conference on the implementation of measures announced in the Budget 2020/2021. Other Directors of the bank were also present.
Mr Pandoo highlighted that the aim of these business parks is to offer high-tech industrial research and development facilities to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and foreign entrepreneurs. He pointed out that tenders will be launched during the course of this year.
Speaking about measures announced in the Budget 2020/2021 following the Covid-19 pandemic, he underscored that these measures aim at encouraging entrepreneurship in general. The loan schemes proposed by the DBM are categorised as follows: Food Security; Modernisation and Mechanisation; Women Empowerment; and IT Infrastructure.
The loan schemes are: the Seeds and Seedling Loan Scheme, to ensure that an important component in the supply chain in the production of agricultural produce is maintained and supported; the New Agricultural Loan Scheme, to provide assistance to applicants involved in the production of agricultural and farms products; the Agro Industry Loan Scheme, for applicants involved in the processing and transformation of agricultural and farms products; and the Mechanisation Loan Scheme, for applicants purchasing agricultural or farm equipment for automation of their production process.
Additional loan schemes comprise the Women Entrepreneurs Loan Scheme, the Backyard Gardening Loan Scheme and the Wage Support Loan Scheme for export-oriented companies. Under the latter, companies are entitled to get financial assistance to meet the cost of wages of their employees for the months of June 2020 up to 31 December 2020, with an interest rate of 2% per annum and repayable over a period of five years, including a moratorium up to 31 December 2020. Its objective is to support companies so as to avoid any layoff of employees and the DBM has already disbursed some Rs 107 million for the month of June 2020.
Furthermore, he spoke of the DBM Campus Entrepreneur Challenge, which aims at promoting a culture of entrepreneurship among university students. According to him, prizes are offered to the first three best projects and that the DBM will provide financial assistance of up to Rs 500 000 at the concessional rate of 0.5% per annum for the first 10 best projects.