National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc says the bank’s introduction of NBM Development Bank is a game-changer in solving capital challenges for small businesses.
The bank’s chief executive officer Mac Fussy Kawawa was speaking in the capital Lilongwe during a youth entrepreneurs training and interaction to discuss how youth entrepreneurs can be supported and benefit from the Malawi Stock Exchange-listed bank’s facilities.
He acknowledged that the cost of finance is high in the country, but said the country needs to move towards having finance that is cheap to spur economic activities.
“There are certain actions we are taking as a bank to ensure that cost of borrowing is even cheaper within the circumstances in which we are, one of which is operationalising our long-term financing in the name of NBM Development Bank.
“Within there, start-up capital will be among the kind of finance that we will be providing and the cost will be slightly lower than those facilities that will be available at the commercial banking,” said Kawawa.
He said the development banks’ support towards start-ups will be in different forms either by putting in direct equity capital or by extending a long-term loan at an interest rate that will be lower than the commercial loan.
One of the youth entrepreneurs, Allan Chidzanja, who is director for Amaravi Creators, described the training as an eye-opener and a motivation being a start-up entrepreneur.
He said young entrepreneurs do not have a platform or a hub where their ideas and businesses can be nurtured to grow.
Leadership expert Mary Mkandawire challenged young entrepreneurs to stand up and be counted, saying an entrepreneur’s journey should always be persistent to achieve more.
She challenged young entrepreneurs to embrace mindset change by believing in themselves in showing strong character and discipline.