Private sector reaps from Reserve Bank of Malawi project


By Deogratias Mmana:

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has said that, so far, 32,000 businesses have benefitted from its Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Scaling (Fines)-five year project supported by the World Bank.

The project is aimed at increasing access to financial services, promoting entrepreneurship and capabilities of micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Malawi including addressing Covid implications. It is implemented by the central bank.


Fines Programme Manager Mark Lung said, since the project started in 2021, a total of 32,000 businesses have been given loans that reach up to $250,000 and cases of default have not been registered.

“These are loans per annum,” Lungu said, adding that entrepreneurs are trained to acquire financial literacy knowledge and skills before accessing the loans.

He said this in an interview at the end of two-week training for MSMEs under the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Development Institute (Smedi) in Dowa.


Ministry of Trade and Industry Deputy Director for Cooperatives Henry Mandere said it was unfortunate that many small businesses in the country cannot access loans from lending institutions because they lack financial literacy skills to run their businesses.

Mandere commended RBM and the World Bank for the Fines project which, he said, would broaden the MSMEs bracket.

A participant at the training, Mercy Ndovie, said innovation and creativity topics challenged her to think outside the box to improve her business.

“We have been challenged to have an entrepreneurship mindset. I have realised that Malawians have potential to succeed in business only if we embrace mindset change and right skills,” Ndovie said.

The project has four components including liquidity engagement to MSMEs, scaling entrepreneurship and building firm capabilities, enhancing the enabling environment for supporting the financial inclusion and growth of entrepreneurship and project implementation support.

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