The United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade on 02 November launched the Sustainable Development Goals Impact Facility to enhance the productive capacity of small businesses.
The facility is a multi-stakeholder financial and capacity building platform that bridges entrepreneurship, social innovation, and blended capital to create sustainable economic and social returns.
The facility's fund manager is the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia and it is co-financed by Standard Bank Namibia. Standard Bank matched the facility with N$9 million and will be offering start-up business loans to grant recipients.
The facility's support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises is expected to have a catalytic impact in addressing development challenges in the country through strengthening the local economy, improving livelihoods, creating decent jobs, and building equitable communities.
It will be offering matching grants that are disbursed in tranches, based on achieved milestones. The facility will actively promote women and youth owned businesses.
Competitive matching-grants will be offered in three windows to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in; sustainable agriculture, nutraceutical and artisans; sustainable tourism and manufacturing and renewable energy and information technology.
"We are happy to note that the United Nations Development Programme is supporting the Namibian Government to implement integrated national financing frameworks which brings together public and private finance policy and institutions. We are looking forward to be part of this important initiative," said Benedict Libanda at the launch of the facility.