ADDIS ABABA – The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) has begun its nationwide business training for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) today amid growing interest from aspiring businesses.
DBE devised the training program in a bid to fill in the business skill and financial gap that SMEs face to take their business off the ground.
The Policy Bank expects the program to serve as a springboard for SMEs not only to boost their working culture and production capacity but also to grow into major companies with a bigger role in the economy.
SMEs’ Growing Interest
The program drew a relatively small number of SMEs’ operators in the first and second rounds with 2, 100 and 2,900 trainees, respectively, partaking in the business training.
The number of trainees, however, spiked in the third round to 37,000 SMEs.
To date, 28, 000 have reportedly finished the training and got certified to benefit from the lease financing services for capital goods.
DBE said it has so far approved 20 billion birr (or $372.5 million) to finance SMEs that took part in the the three rounds of the training.
The fourth round attracted an even bigger number of participants.
On Monday, DBE’s President Yohannes Ayalew (PhD) said the initial plan was to take 50,000 participants on board for the fourth round training for SMEs but be able to register about 435,000 trainees.
At least 35 percent of registered trainees are women.
The increase has forced the Bank to restructure its training schedule. It will now be provided in three phases set to be held in 56 cities and 95 centers.
The first phase that started today for 112,000 trainees will be conducted for five consecutive days, as per DBE.
The training involves business plan development, business and human resources management, marketing, and other related areas.
“The objective is to create economically self- sufficient citizens and encourage creativity at the same time,” said Yohannes, adding the bank has prepared a 200 million US dollars fund for the new round with the help of the World Bank.
The trainees are expected to engage in their area of interest such as textile, leather, mining and construction sectors once they graduate, apart from DBE’s focus areas.
Forming Share company an option
This time, the bank has also prepared an option for trainees to form a share company once they go through the training program.
“This aims to develop the culture to build a big institution collectively,” DBE said in a statement today.
The bank will provide 20% of the finance required to start the share company through its lease financing services.
Those forming the firm are expected to buy a minimum of five shares – each having a 1000 birr value.
DBE, whose total capital reached around 36 billion Birr this year, has planned to provide credit of 30 billion Birr to SMEs.
Featured Image: President of the Development Bank of Ethiopia Yohannes Ayalew (PhD). (Photo File)