TREASURY, through the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Bank as well as the Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank, availed a ZW$500 million stimulus package to bail out SMEs and women entrepreneurs to assist them to cope and recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The development was revealed by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa during the thirty-eight post-cabinet briefing.
“The Microfinance Bank focused its support on empowering women, youth and men to access and utilize machines produced locally by SME engineers such as those at Siyaso in Harare, Mutapa in Gweru, Kelvin West in Bulawayo.
“The beneficiaries of the stimulus package embarked on the production of a wide range of products such as soap, surf, sanitisers, animal feeds, vegetables and poultry products”, she said.
Recently the bank disbursed funds to the agriculture sector in support of the farmers under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa, household food security initiative and livestock programmes.
“Implements such as hoes, wheelbarrows, scotch carts and others were made available to the farmers.
“Cabinet was informed that a total of 6 715 beneficiaries received a cumulative ZW$27 013 448 covering June, July, August and September 2020 through 402 Conventional Loans, 5 922 Mobile Loans, and 391 Asset Financing Loans. The Bank developed a loan product, Katsaona in partnership with NetOne for ease of access by beneficiaries in remote areas”, she added.
Cabinet further noted that the stimulus package has generated interest among entrepreneurs across the following sectors such as manufacturing, clothing, leather and textiles, health and pharmaceuticals, tourism, construction, livestock, dairy and horticulture.
Government plans are underway to avail more resources to the Zimbabwe Microfinance Bank.
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