Govt assistance not reaching SMEs in rural areas: Official


ASSISTANCE for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) only reaches those in the urban areas, according to the Chimbu SME Foundation.
Director Peter Siune told The National that only a handful of small businesses received assistance.
Siune said in Chimbu’s case, geography made it hard for those in rural areas to access any form of government intervention aimed at the SME space.
He said a lot of small business owners do not even know what an SME was.
According to Siune, the foundation itself has taken the initiative to conduct awareness on SMEs in the province and has, so far, covered six districts reaching 150,000 people in the formal and informal sector.
The foundation has also come up with a SME policy submission which it has submitted to both the national and provincial governments and believed it would address some of the challenges faced by SMEs and enable assistance to reach them.
The policy submission consists of guidelines for fairer distribution of assistance which a key proposal to have coordinators from the national to the ward levels to handle and dispense SME support.
Another point of concern, according to Siune, was for the Government to ensure that those in the informal sector were recognised.
He said the Government had to ensure that it distributed the limited funding fairly across the country in order for as many people to benefit.