Small and medium enterprises in Zambia on Wednesday complained that they have not been able to access funds released by the European Investment Bank (EIB) meant to boost their operations due to terms being demanded by local banks.

Last October, the EIB announced that 56 million Euros were set aside to support small businesses in Zambia.

The funds, available over a two-year period, were given to five local commercial banks for onward lending to the small and medium enterprises in sectors such as agriculture, services and construction, among others.

But the Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Associations said it has been a challenge for its members to access the funds because of the collaterals being demanded by commercial banks.

The association has since called on the banks to relax terms and conditions for accessing the funds so that members could access the finances.

“The target group for the funds are micro-enterprises but most of them have not been able to access the funds,” he said during a budget consultative meeting organized by the Zambia Association of Manufacturers.

According to him, lack of collateral was one of the biggest challenges facing small and medium enterprises in the country in accessing funds from financial institutions. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/

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