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SMEs summit on

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FINANCIAL experts from across the globe meet in Harare today for a one-day seminar to discuss issues constraining SMEs’ access to funding and strategies to enhance financial inclusion.

Issues affecting SMEs growth in Zimbabwe and other countries will come under the microscope at the Zimbabwe SME Banking and Micro-finance Summit at the Meikles Hotel this morning.

Mr Nicky Moyo, the managing director of Deat Capital, which has organised the seminar, said the summit being held under the theme “Towards Inclusive Growth” will attract nearly 200 delegates from a target audience of microfinance and banking institutions, entrepreneurs, and small to medium enterprises.

He added that delegates from micro-enterprises, policymakers, regulatory institutions, business associations, academia, donors, inter-governmental agencies, non-governmental organisations and advisory firms will attend.

“Deat Capital – the official hosts of the Zimbabwe SME Banking and Microfinance Summit on July 17 2013 at Meikles Hotel, Harare, Zimbabwe – are pleased to announce Craft Silicon founder Kamal Budhabatti as a key presenter at this summit,” Mr Moyo said in a statement.

Kamal is founder and CEO of Craft Silicon, a Kenyan software company with global aspirations that is steadily making inroads in the world of financial technology.
Craft Silicon provides bespoke, cutting-edge software in core banking, microfinance, mobile, switch solutions and electronic payments for customers on four continents. The company services over 200 clients in 40 countries spread across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Its clientele includes some of Africa’s most successful financial institutions and has offices in Kenya, India, Nigeria and the United States. Craft
Silicon has an office in Silicon Valley, in Palo Alto, California, one of the very few Kenyan firms to achieve such a feat.
It has a market value of around US$50 million.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni will officially open the summit. Speakers include Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono and five other international speakers.

These include McKinsey & Company associate principal sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Mutsa Chironga; Alios Finance Group, Zambia CEO, Mr Evert Jan Ter Burg; and BancABC Group South Africa head, retail and SME banking division, Ms Andrea Prazakova.

Small Enterprise Finance Agency, South Africa head, microfinance division (wholesale) Mr Evans Maphenduka and Longonot Finance Netherlands managing director Mr Dieter Portman will also present papers.

The objectives of the summit include demystifying business models in financial inclusion, secure updates of financing opportunities for SME trade and investment, identify best practices in innovative partnerships of financial inclusion and examine opportunities to profitably serve women business and entrepreneurs.

In addition, Mr Moyo said, the summit was meant to share insights into mobile banking as a tool for financial inclusion, engage policymakers and regulators on best practice for SME finance, promote micro-insurance for financial inclusion, establish effective SME financing and leasing tools, learn from current models of micro-financing for development success, strategise on risk and guarantee tools for SME financing. Herald

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