The Banking Association of South Africa and Khula Enterprise Finance have signed a Cooperation Agreement, aiming to target the key challenges faced by the Small and Medium Enterprise sector.
The key challenges identified by the two bodies relate to SME’s ability to access finance and non-financial support from both the private and public financial intermediaries. The Cooperation Agreement is expected to facilitate greater financial inclusion of SMEs through the expansion of access to financial services, lowering financing costs to SMEs within the banking and financial sector and addressing barriers to SME financing as identified through an agreed targeted interventionist approach.
The two parties agreed that they have similar and complementary initiatives that are aimed at addressing the same key SME issues. They have identified projects that they will collaborate on, and through the terms of Agreement will endeavour to facilitate the formation of an SME Credit Bureau, provide access to the information portal for SMEs, conduct research programmes, facilitate skills transfer, assist in the development of a national mentorship programme, establish an SME forum, promote the redesigned Khula Indemnity Scheme and promote SME financial literacy.
“We believe that through these initiatives we will be in a stronger position to deliver on our mandate of creating a vibrant and sustainable SME sector – and, in turn, the growth of South Africa’s economy,” says Malose Kekana, acting MD of Khula Enterprise Finance.
The organisations were unable to provide specifics about their initiatives, as they said it was still “early days” and that the next year would be spent on planning.