Ministry of Economic Development (MED) under its Enterprise Development initiative has been organising a set of Regional SME Finance Forum throughout Maldives. The 3rd Regional SME Finance Forum held for the businesses of Haa Dhaalu Atoll commenced on 25 November in Kulhudhuffushi. The forum was attended by 150 participants from all the islands of Haa Dhaalu Atoll and participating institutions.
Mr. Adam Thaufeeg, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Economic Development during his opening remarks stated the importance the President is giving towards developing the small medium enterprises as this has been neglected during the past, whereas the current government understands the importance of supporting the small business and to provide all the necessary support in making the business environment more conducive for the small business to flourish. He also highlighted on the work the ministry is doing on strengthening the regulatory frameworks and also the Credit Guarantee Scheme which was launched last year and the many financial schemes launched with such low-interest rates, is now making the banks also look into the SMEs as better clients and revising their structures to accommodate this.
This one-day Forum focused on bringing together SMEs operating in the region and potential entrepreneurs and providing an opportunity for the financial institutions in the region to showcase their financial products and schemes. SMEs also had a platform to forward their queries and get clarification on issues from the financial institutions, in the networking session that will take place during the afternoon session of the Forum.
The Regional SME Finance Forum is part of Ministry of Economic Development’s (MED) ongoing efforts to develop the SME sector in an inclusive manner throughout the Maldives and will be hosted for the business community by Business Center (BC) established in 6 different regions of Maldives.
BC – Kulhudhuffushi Branch (covering the region of Haa Dhaalu, Haa Alifu & Shaviyani Atoll) established under Enterprise Development (ED) Initiative of MED. The BCs are designed to improve the access of SMEs to all kinds of different Business Development Services in geographical areas with little or no service provision. The staffs of the centre have been providing assistance to existing small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs to help them start, grow and compete in domestic and global markets by offering quality training, counselling and access to resources.
Maldives Monetary Authority, Bank of Maldives and Maldives Islamic Bank took part in the 3 forums and presented on their financial products for the development of SMEs and also further discussed one to one with potential clients during the networking sessions through the stalls set up in the venue. Maldives Post and Allied Maldives also had their stalls set up and showcased their products for supporting the growth of SMEs.
The 1st Regional SME Finance Forum was held in S. Gan focusing the businesses of Addu and Fuvahmulah City, were 200 participants took part in the one day forum organized by the BC – Hithadhoo Branch and for the 2nd Forum held in M. Mulak targeting the businesses of Meemu Atoll organized by BC – Kudahuvadhoo branch, the forum was attended by 180 participants.