SMEs get machinery under govt COVID-19 stimulus fund

By Tendai Munengwa

Government has handed over an assortment of machines to scores of small to medium entrepreneurs under the 500 million Zimbabwe dollar COVID-19 stimulus fund to cushion Small to medium enterprises.

Several women from the Small to Medium Entreprises sector converged in Hopely suburb in Harare to witness the launch of COVID-19 Stimulus Asset Programme by the government.

Handing over various machines and materials to the women, secured under the 500 million dollar stimulus fund, the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni urged SMEs to put the assets secured through the Women’s Bank to good use.

“Most SMEs were not spared by COVID -19 and government has allocated 500 million Zimbabwe dollars under the stimulus fund. These are the fruits of the money, as you can see the SMEs are getting machinery to revamp their business, so this is the launch and the program will spread countrywide.”

Zimbabwe Women Micro-finance Bank Chief Executive, Dr Mandas Marikanda said the financial institution is ready to assist SMEs, as they are key to the country’s development.

“We have come up with this initiative where we secure assets for those SMEs affected by the COVID-19, as you can see we have secured tangible assets which they can use to revive their business, all those affected can approach our bank so that we find possible ways to assist them.”

Beneficiaries thanked the government for the fund that is set to transform their lives.

“We can now bake bread for the Hopely community, we can now manufacture our own butternut, sanitizers, and many other products, we want to thank the Women’s Bank for coming up with this programme to empower us with machines.”

Government has put aside 18 billion Zimbabwe dollars as part of efforts to cushion various sectors of the economy which were affected by COVID-19.