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Agreement aims to link finalists of business plan competition to finance

PEP-Z Team Leader Bayo Akindeinde (right) and Focus Managing Director George Mubipe sign an agreement to help fund entrepreneurs.

PEP-Z Team Leader Bayo Akindeinde (right) and Focus Managing Director George Mubipe sign an agreement to help fund entrepreneurs.

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – September 21, 2015 – Entrepreneur finalists under the Nyamuka Zambia business plan competition could now have access to funding to support their operations and the realisation of their business ideas thanks to an agreement signed with Focus Financial Services Limited.

The memorandum of understanding between the two organisations seeks to provide crucial working capital required by small-scale entrepreneurs to set up or expand their enterprises and guarantee their longer-term sustainability.

The agreement aims to connect the top 20 finalists, and other deserving semi-finalists in the Nyamuka Zambia business plan competition to make available capital amounting to K2 million.

Under the terms of the agreement Nyamuka Zambia will introduce the finalists in its business plan competition, many of whom already have functioning small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to Focus for an injection of working capital.

The MoU is consistent with Focus’s aim to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Focus’ working capital business is its pioneer innovation designed to create opportunity and build SME capacity to participate in economic activity and foster SME growth to allow for long-term sustainability.

Since commencing operations in January 2010, Focus Finance has disbursed in excess of K1.3n billion across all economic sectors supporting more than 4,000 jobs.

The MoU was signed by PEP-Z Team Leader Bayo Akindeinde and Focus Managing Director George Mubipe.

“Focus is keenly aware of the highly enterprising and diverse needs of SMEs who come from every imaginable sector in the economy. We also know that SMEs often encounter stumbling blocks in the form of bureaucratic processes and onerous demands from traditional sources of finance. So Focus had to think ‘differently’ in order to become a real solutions provider to this high growth sector. Our model is a departure from the complexity of traditional finance defined by highly convoluted and lengthy decision-making processes. We are delighted to be a part of the Nyamuka initiative through this agreement,” said Mr Mubipe.

“The development and progression of many small and medium-sized enterprises is highly dependent upon the availability of finance. A number of business ideas have never been realised due to a lack of access to finance. That is why we are excited by our agreement with Focus Finance. We sincerely believe that the K2 million that has been set aside for our finalists and semi-finalists will make a significant difference as far as their businesses are concerned,” said Shalin Jethi, the Manager of Nyamuka Zambia

The Nyamuka Zambia Business Plan Competition is a part of the DFID funded, Private Enterprise Program-Zambia (PEPZ), whose aim is to fortify market linkages and support entrepreneurs to ensure that they have the capacity to supply the quality products and services. Specifically, PEPZ aims to contribute to the creation of 40,600 full time jobs, 40 percent for women; create K300 million in additional investment; help MSMEs be perceived as drivers of job creation and wealth; and change and improve attitudes towards entrepreneurship.

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