SME funding, listing platform launched

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© THE Financial Securities Exchange (Finsec) in partnership with C-Trade and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have launched a growth enterprises market (GEM) portal designed to enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to raise capital through equity listing or debt funding.

Finsec chief executive officer Collin Tapfumaneyi said the platform was designed in a simplified, yet sophisticated manner to enable MSMEs to apply for funding in addition to being exposed to financiers.

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“We created a digital platform that enhanced the automation of application for listing, assessment and scoring using transactional data from financial services partners that include banks and mobile money operators.

“By leveraging on financial transactional data, the GEM portal enables the MSMEs to apply for equity listing or debt funding through the portal,” Tapfumaneyi said.

He added that once the MSMEs submit their applications online, these are then automatically sent to nominated advisors online for verification, after which they are electronically availed to participating financiers for consideration or debt funding.

“By submitting applications on the MSME exchange listing platform, the small businesses that qualify for listing on Finsec Exchange will indeed demystify the notion that the stock exchange is the preserve for blue chip companies,” Tapfumaneyi said.

He added that this would result in a significant expansion of capital markets across all sectors of the economy.

“Through ease of access using technology and the Internet, we will extend the reach of the MSME Exchange Listing platform to all provinces across the country.

“Although there were bumps and challenges along the way as in any project of this magnitude, I have nothing, but great admiration for the unity of purpose displayed by all involved from inception to date,” he said.

Tapfumaneyi said that SMEs have for a long time failed to access funding due to the fact that funding options tend to be either short-term or expensive.

“MSMEs contribute a great deal towards economic development. For example, in Germany SMEs represent 99 percent of all enterprises, employ 63 percent of the population and contribute 55 percent of the GDP.

“However, in spite of this contribution to economies, MSMEs across all sectors continue to face challenges in accessing affordable capital for growth and re-tooling and this is why we decided to launch this platform,” he said.

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