The Ministry of Finance under the Micro Finance Unit has held a successful three weeks workshop for Commercial Amadoda leaders.
Micro Finance Unit (MFU) Programme Director David Myeni said the unit had a mandate to facilitate access to financial services, institutional development, policy support and building entrepreneurial capacity in rural economy. He said they were also mandated to facilitate access to financial services for the rural un-banked population and small businesses in the country.
“Among key issues to be addressed in achieving such is the development of capacity for the small and medium businesses to make it easier for them to be eligible for short-term finance to sustain and expand their businesses.
“The Swaziland Commercial Amadoda is one of the key traditional structures that have an exclusive right for the registration of new businesses in trade, agriculture, arts and craft, transport which more often do not have collateral and transactional history to assist in applying for finance.
“Thus financial institutions identified the need for these to be trained in business management to have the necessary skills to properly run their businesses,” he said.
Myeni said an orientation workshop with Swaziland Commercial Amadoda Executive and branch leaders in July 2012 at Ezulwini identified the need to provide capacity building on business management for the membership.
“The priority was first to assist these entrepreneurs to come up with their own business plans. In the beginning of October 2012 the MFU started offering training in Businesses Planning to these entrepreneurs. About 170 out of the targeted 600 have been currently trained,” he said.
A mentoring programme has been developed to enhance the knowledge and application to the businesses. The business management training was to facilitate business management skills for SCA members to enable them to come up with viable business plans for access to credit.
The criteria employed by the MFU in this initiative included identification of key training needs, training on identified needs, mentoring and coaching and monitoring and evaluation to generate lessons learnt.
The MFU has also developed a website for the SCA. This is done to make it easy for members and the general public to access relevant information through the use of the internet.
This includes key information about the organisation’s background, mandate, mission, news and events, application forms, contact details and the organisation documents.
About 29 Swaziland Commercial Amadoda members graduated after completing the course which was offered by Lwati Training Institute.
Commercial Amadoda Vice President Albert Mbuyisa, thanked the MFU for choosing the organisation for the course.
He promised that as an organisation they would go and help their colleagues who were not fortunate enough to take part in the course.
Mbuyisa urged the leaders to go and apply the knowledge they have gained from this course in their businesses.
He thanked the leaders for their participation and encouraged them to come back in their numbers if another course can avail itself.
Though Mbuyisa said what is disappointing is that most of their members have the perspective that learning is for the young but he promised MFU that if a course can be availed they will definitely not disappoint.