The Development Bank of Namibia has announced its participation in the Bank of Namibia SME Economic Recovery Loan scheme. Participation brings the number of schemes on offer by DBN to two. The other scheme offered by the Bank is the KfW Bankengruppe (KfW) scheme.
Highlighting the differences between the schemes, DBN spokesperson Jerome Mutumba said the BoN scheme is of a longer duration of seven years, and the interest rate floats at prime -0.5%.
On the other hand, the KfW scheme is of short duration, with repayment to conclude by 31 October 2025. The KfW scheme offers a fixed interest rate of 5.925%, with the first 12 months interest-free.
Talking about terms for the schemes, Mutumba said businesses that qualify for participation should be clear on the time they will require to repay the loan amount.
In the event of loans not being repaid in the periods specified in terms of the respective schemes, loans will be restructured to adhere to DBN’s terms of lending. He referred potential borrowers to the bank’s webpage for a detailed comparison of the schemes.
He added that information would be available at the bank’s branches in Windhoek, Ongwediva, Rundu and Walvis Bay. On the topic of qualification for the schemes, Mutumba stressed that the decision to finance applicants was solely at the discretion of the bank, and subject to standards and requirements established in the application form for finance available at the bank’s branches or on its website.
He went on to say the BoN scheme will be available to DBN borrowers, and said that each applicant for the scheme should speak to their individual portfolio manager. On the other hand, he said, the KfW scheme is available to new borrowers with an existing business track record. He urged enterprises to interrogate their need for relief schemes.
The schemes, according to Mutumba, place additional debt obligations on borrowers, making it important for each borrower to assess the benefit of and returns to participation. It is vital that enterprises are able to use the schemes to recover and grow. The bank, Mutumba concluded, was put in place to support larger enterprises and SMEs with a clear development impact.
The implementation of these schemes requires beneficiaries of the loans to ensure they further their goals and prolong their sustainability in the medium to long term.