His Excellency the President Rtd Brig. Dr Julius Maada Bio, on the 12th February 2021, officially launched the Government of Sierra Leone Microcredit Scheme (MUNAFA FUND) as support to promote and develop SMEs in the country.
This support is a fulfilment of the presidential campaign promised to Develop the private sector by providing the enabling business environment that will enhance business growth and also increase access to finance for SMEs through loan opportunities.
SMEs all over the world is recognized as the engine of economic growth and the enabler to eradicate poverty. It is estimated that SMEs contribute about 95% to the GDP of both developed and developing countries in the world.
Premier organisation for the development of progressive SMEs that will position Sierra Leone as a vibrant middle – Income Economy
The Sierra Leone Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency is a government entity established under the SMEDA Act No.11 of 2016. The Act was developed through a stakeholder’s consultation and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Bank of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to fine tuned the SME policy and strategy that was developed in 2014.
The Sierra Leone Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency is a government entity established under the SMEDA Act No.11 of 2015. The Act was developed through a stakeholder’s consultation and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Bank of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to fine tuned the SME policy and strategy that was developed in 2014.
Legal Mandate of SMEDA
In March 2016, Parliament enacted into law the Sierra Leone Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Act of 2016, as a corporate body having perpetual succession and capable of acquiring, holding and disposing of any property, whether movable or immovable, and of suing and being sued in its corporate name, subject to this Act, of performing all such acts as bodies corporate may by law perform.
The object for which the agency was established is to ‘Promote a conducive business environment, including an efficient and effective service delivery network, in order to empower and develop Small and Medium Enterprises for growth, productivity and competiveness SMEDA Act S. 12 (1).
SMEDA recognises that the roles of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and that of Parliament are very crucial to the work of the agency. Therefore, reporting by SMEDA to MTI and Parliament are critical aspect of their oversight responsibilities.
- SMEDA also creates a conducive environment for promoting the development of innovative, resilient and globally-competitive MSMEs through effective coordination and provision of business support.
- SMEDA endeavours to empower the critical mass of MSMEs with efficient processes, robust business models, access to financial resources, smart partnerships, market-entry strategies and sustainable growth solutions, through various platforms and programmes for MSME and entrepreneur development.
In line with the SMEDA’s Vision and Mission, which consist of statutory oversight functions, the work of SMEDA will be based on the following guiding principles:
- Client focus
- Creativity and Innovation
- Integrity and Accountability
- Teamwork and Inclusivity
- Respect for all
Functions of the Agency - SMEDA
The Authority will achieve its mandate by performing the following functions:
- Design and implement development support programmes and schemes for SMEs;
- Facilitate, assist and provide market access and business linkage opportunities to SMEs in order to enable them compete successfully in national and international markets;
- Advise the minster on appropriate policy issues relating to entrepreneurship promotion and development of SMEs;
- Provide core support services for SMEs, particularly entrepreneurship development, business facilitation, counseling and mentoring services;
- Implement and operate a registration scheme for SMEs and Small and Medium Industries;
- Facilitate access to industrial space, finance and other productive resources;
- Empower product specific and sector specific SMEs and Small and Medium industries to enhance their delivery capabilities;
- Co-ordinate with other support organizations and stakeholders……
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