Having been associated with macro business enterprises for a long time, Opportunity Bank Malawi (OBM) has taken a step further by introducing Small Medium Enterprise (SME) loans, which will see the bank’s customers getting up to K100 million loan facilities to expand their businesses.
The new facility was officially launched last week at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, where the bank pledged to continue introducing new products aimed at transforming people’s lives.
According to OBM’s chief executive officer Kwanele Ngwenya, the new loan facility is targeted at the bank’s customers, who have migrated from macro business entrepreneurship to small medium enterprises (SMEs).
“We have had customers, who have grown with us from small scale to small medium enterprise but they have ended up going to other banks in order to access bigger loans. We want such customers to remain with us so that we help them migrate to large corporate businesses,” said Ngwenya in an interview with Nyasa Times after the launch.
The OBM CEO further said the bank would be offering free training on entrepreneurship and management of finances to the loan beneficiaries to enable them make good use of the finances.
Under the new loan scheme, customers can borrow money from the bank ranging from K10 million to K100 million.
The launch was presided over by Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) president Karl Chokotho, who described SMEs as a crucial sector of the country’s economy.
“Research that was conducted in 2012 showed that there are over 700,000 small medium enterprises in Malawi employing over 1 million people. The figures could be higher by now because the research was done four years ago. SMEs are a major driver of the economy and empowering these groups will contribute to economic growth.
“As a Chamber, we are pleased with the strides being made by OBM, which started as a micro-finance bank but has now graduated into a fully-fledged commercial bank,” said Chokotho.