Partners Collaborate to Support Access to Finance for Small Business

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The Development Bank of Samoa (DBS) and Samoa Business Hub – SBH have set a new platform of working closer together to facilitate a Business Loan Guarantee Scheme through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier this week.

SBH has been in the forefront of small business development in the last twenty five years under its former name, the Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC). To date, SBH has supported more than five thousand clients through business training and access to finance under the Business Loan Guarantee Scheme in collaboration with all the Commercial Banks including the DBS.

The new MoU was signed between SBH, the Development Bank of Samoa (DBS), Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS). The partnership further enhances collaboration to support the Business Loan Guarantee Scheme (BLGS) that aims to improve access to finance for small business development.

The Development Bank of Samoa currently supports more than four hundred (400) businesses from micro to medium enterprises in all economic sectors, under the Business Loan Guarantee Scheme (BLGS) operated by the Samoa Business Hub.

The new MoU provides an increase in guarantee limit of up to $50k to support business credit financing and a more comprehensive assessment, monitoring and evaluation framework that promotes equal access to business opportunities for everyone.

Businesses under the Scheme are supported by targeted business training and mentoring provided by SBH as well as joint monitoring of the business plan with the DBS.

The Guarantee Funds is made up largely of Government of Samoa Term Deposit with support from the New Zealand government.

The Funds are administered by MoF and overseen by the Central Bank of Samoa, a role that includes prudential oversight of the various participating Commercial Banks.p

CEO of MoF and Chairman of the DBS Board, Leasiosiofa’asisina Oscar Malielegaoi stated at the signing that “The new MoU in addition to supporting the Government’s MSME development priorities, is also a stamp of commitment to partnership and collaboration between the implementing agencies”

The BLGS and partnership between SBH and DBS has been in existence for more than twenty five (25) years which has played a part in growth of the MSME sector in an ever changing business enabling environment. The new MoU was designed to reflect these changes and better support the financing needs of MSMEs.

The operations of SBH have been mainly funded by the Government of New Zealand since establishment as SBEC in 1994, with support from the Government of Samoa. The Government of New Zealand continues its supoort of the Small Business Hub as it continues to expand its products and services for MSMEs.