Mauritius: Govt launches new initiatives to increase SMEs' access to credit
New figures released by l'Express de Maurice newspaper highlight the difficulties SMEs face accessing credit in Mauritius.New figures released by l'Express de Maurice newspaper highlight the difficulties SMEs face accessing credit in Mauritius.
In December 2011, SMEs made credit applications of a total of RS71.2 million (€1.8 million), but have only received RS36.8 million.
Furthermore, only two-thirds of the RS36.8 million have been granted as loans, with the remainder (RS12 million) being granted as overdrafts.
This low access to credit is partly due to the difficulties faced by SMEs, particularly during their creation, to present guaranties to banks or credit applications receivable by banking institutions.
In order to help SMEs tackle these problems, the government has launched several initiatives, including mechanisms helping companies with cash flow and the expansion of their production capacities.
The European Investment Bank has, for example, granted €5 million to Mauritius Leasing that will be used to finance SME projects through leasing.
Furthermore, the Mauritian government has introduced a Leasing Equipment Modernisation Scheme so that SMEs can invest in the expansion of their production capacity.
Finally, an SME support programme was introduced in December by the Bank of Mauritius, so that businesses can access loans at a preferential rate, guaranteed at 35 percent by the government, My Mauritius reports.