Good Day Members,
Businesses in Zambia and across the world are facing unprecedented economic challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic and resultant lockdowns and mobility restrictions have dealt a severe blow mainly to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Most of these enterprises are facing a significant decline in revenue, which means they cannot meet their financial obligations. This has seen many companies close shop or led to job losses. Financial support during this crucial period can make the difference between a company staying afloat or closing permanently.
Thanks to Prospero, small businesses in Zambia now have a lifeline. The entity has set aside £1 million to provide emergency relief funding to qualifying SMEs who have experienced hardship under the current Covid-19 pandemic and associated health restrictions. The five-year facility will support businesses with a combination of capital, and grant-funded Technical Assistance, to help them navigate the crisis. Business Partners International Zambia which has been actively supporting and financing SMEs in Zambia since 2014, has been selected as Investment Advisor for the Debt Relief Fund on behalf of Prospero Zambia.
The Prospero relief programme targets about 50 SMEs, with the application process having opened in June 2021. Business owners will receive funding of up to ZMK 1 000 000 which will be paid out in local currency and will be granted a grace period of six months and will only start repaying the loan plus interest from the seventh month for up to 60 months. Interest will be concessional and indexed to the local commercial interbank lending rates, and business owners do not have to pay any upfront fees. Additionally, a Technical Assistance grant of up to ZMK 100 000 per investee will be advanced along with the relief funding to improve business processes. Technical Assistance provides value-added services for the entrepreneur in different aspects of their business, ranging from accounting support, problem-solving, and marketing plans. Successful businesses can only use the funding to cover salaries, wages, rent, and other day-to-day operational costs; directors’ remuneration is limited to 20% of the loan amount. Additional working capital is also limited to 20% of the loan amount. Please follow the link below for additional information and eligibility criteria.
We hope this will be beneficial to your businesses.