Beneficiaries of the Sustainable Development Goals Impact Facility (SDGIF), jointly established by the trade ministry in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme of Namibia in 2020, have spoken out about their experiences.
Recipients of the funding facility lauded the assistance they received to upscale their operation, create more employment and ultimately stay afloat in a unique and challenging trading environment.
The SDGIF is a multi-stakeholder financial and capacity-building platform that bridges entrepreneurship, social innovation and blended capital to create sustainable economic and social returns.
The facility’s fund manager is the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, supported by Standard Bank Namibia.
It is valued at N$8 million that is spread across three proposal call windows. The grants are aimed at micro, small, and medium enterprises operating in these targeted economic sectors: sustainable agriculture, artisans, nutraceuticals, sustainable tourism, manufacturing, renewable energy, and information technology.
“Given the current economic situation and the Covid-19 crisis, we truly needed assistance. The pandemic pushed all our clients out and we needed this help to reach them,” said Merryl Ann Garuses from DJD Trading Enterprise, an electrical installation company. Garuses’ company offers services ranging from home wiring & solar installations to MV/LV installations with supplementary services, including appliance renovation.
“We were able to purchase equipment suitable for our operational needs. The finances, marketing, and even advice are invaluable.”
Window one of the SDGIF focuses on sustainable agriculture, nutraceutical production and artisans. The impact facility received 150 grant applications, with a total of N$2.5 million being distributed to 32 successful applicants.
The facility offers competitive match-grants in two tiers and financing MSMEs at their different business life cycles.
“We are using Namibia’s available resources to manufacture a product that has the potential to provide employment and other opportunities to Namibians. I thus applied for the grant because I was searching for financing to grow the business production capacity and warehouse facilities, among other major expenses required for the business to scale up,” explained Fredrick Shipipa from MYM Trading, an SME with interests in manufacturing, retail, distribution & marketing.
Other SDGIF beneficiaries included Katima Quails, NamAloe Vera Products, Grand Yields Poultry, VNA Native Foods, Power Six Investment, Mwetufena Investment, Venny’s Kitchen, Navawoodwork, Ark Dynamiques Investment and Legend Rock Trading cc.