The COVID-19 pandemic has not only taken a toll on the health sector; it has now become an economic crisis as well, with small businesses around the world being the most affected. Everyone is trying to anticipate how the SMEs in countries like Kenya will weather this storm and where they will need to gravitate their efforts towards.
Unlike large businesses that have debt and expenses that seal their fate, the small businesses lack resources to absorb even short term losses during this pandemic.
Remember a typical SME employs between 10 to 20 people and is close to or already export ready. These SMEs and MSMEs represent 60-70% of the job market in most developing countries and around half of the country’s economic activity. What this means is that if no one comes to their rescue, the economy will also be dead as they continue to experience a larger decline in business activity compared to large firms.
For a number of these SMEs, the global COVID-19 pandemic means revenue has evaporated, product supply has gone down and their cash reserves are dwindling. Will they make payroll next month? Will they even be able to operate?
The Africa Management Institute (AMI) in a recent survey found out that 87% of business owners are worried about surviving the current crisis, while 67% say business has been hit hard since the introduction of social distancing, lockdowns, and curfews on the continent. A few African governments and financial service providers are extending the stimulus packages, tax breaks, and SME loan programmes but is this really enough?
The AMI survey found out that Africa’s small businesses urgently need liquidity. More than 75% of entrepreneurs surveyed believed a loan would help their chances of survival.
For us at Ngao credit, our products like the Jijenge loan product are unique and have been tailor-made to cater for business persons and SMEs especially those in supplies, construction and tenders business. This loan product is incredibly simple and straight-forward. Moreover, with Jijenge, SMEs will not need to worry about loan installments and also get to pay after only 3 months.
All we will need from you is:
- Original logbook
- Original national ID &PIN
- Latest 12 months bank statements
- Post- dated cheque(s) and
- Comprehensive insurance
As mentioned in our previous blog article, by enabling SMEs pay for this loan facility after three months, Jijenge erases the concerns of the entrepreneurs being unable to meet their payment obligations, especially during this pandemic.
For many of these SMEs, this is their first time leading in a global financial crisis, let alone a pandemic. They’re feeling the weight of responsibility – not just for livelihoods, but also for the health and wellbeing of staff, customers and contractors.
The scale of this crisis is unprecedented, but there is a silver lining.