K50m set aside for entrepreneurs

GROFIN Zambia, which disbursed over K24 million to entrepreneurs in various sectors in the fourth quarter of last year has set aside K50 million this year.
The company, which is a small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) financier and business support institution, is part of Grofin Group, an international innovative development financier which operates in 15 countries in Africa and Middle East.
Grofin Zambia investment executive Chibamba Lopa said the firm received several applications last year and approved five.
Mr Lopa, however, said in an interview on Monday that the company targets to increase disbursement of funds this year with an allocation of K50 million.
“We disbursed K24.4 million in the last quarter of 2014 and we are looking at significant growth in 2015 based on robust entrepreneurs and viable businesses. We can even grow up to 100 percent of the 2014 performance,” he said.
He also said the company has grown its investment to over K26 million as at December last year from an initial K2 million in September due to the favourable business environment.
“In terms of investment, prior to the launch last year, we had invested about K2 million. Since then we have invested a further over K23 million which brining to a total investment to K26 million for Zambia,” he said.
Mr Lopa said the company’s vision is to witness growth-oriented entrepreneurs and local business individuals with viable ideas to access funding to complement Government’s efforts of developing the economy.
“The major challenge for Zambian entrepreneurs is the general lack of readiness for [accessing funding from]… commercial banks, equity providers, venture capitalists… Entrepreneurs seek financiers without having their end sorted,” Mr Lopa said.
He said Grofin’s business model is a combination of funding, business support and linkages.
The firm provides funding in the range of K700,000 to K10 million over a term of three to seven years.

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