A MEMORANDUM of Understanding (MoU) to support growth of local enterprises through enhanced collaboration has been signed between the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) and Prospero Zambia, a United Kingdom funded organisation.
The two institutions will from time to time undertake market research in preferred sectors, and feasibility studies on projects to be funded by Prospero and cooperating partners with a goal ofobtaining investment from DBZ inter alia.DBZ Managing Director, Samuel Bwalya, said the Bank would ensure that projects that would receive support were constantly monitored so as to get the intended results.Dr Bwalya said yesterday in Lusaka during the signing of the MoU that monitoring would help the two institutions to take corrective measures in good time.“Strengthening the monitoring system will assist both the entrepreneurs and the financing institutions to ensure that projects are implemented within the prescribed budgets,” he said.Under the MoU, Dr Bwalya said, DBZ would fund selected projects that had grown beyond start-up stage from Prospero and its cooperating partners.Dr Bwalya said DBZ would conduct capacity building for entrepreneurs with a focus on financial sustainability and value chain promotion in collaboration with Prospero Zambia.“This collaboration and cooperation could not have come at a better time than this, when most businesses are struggling to survive due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.“During this period, some businesses have closed, others had to cut on costs mostly by reducing the workforce, and some have continued operating with cashflow shortage,” he said.Prospero Zambia Chief Executive Officer, James Blewett, said his organisation had in the last two to three years had helped Zambian businesses to raise US$50 million of commercial impactfinance.Mr Blewett said this was real money coming into these businesses helping them to finance their growth. “We want to help Zambian businesses to attract commercial financing to allow them togrow and progress, creating more jobs and livelihood in the supply chain and brining new products on the market.“We hope to go much further and this partnership with DBZ is an important step in that journey for us. We are helping businesses at all stages,” he said.
And the British High Commissioner, Nicolas Woolley, said improving access to finance for businesses of all shapes and sizes was critical in building Zambia’s economy and development.