DBN to initiate Venture Capital Fund

Staff Reporter
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is in the process of developing and establishing a Venture Capital Fund, as the third leg of the national SME Financing Strategy. The initiative acknowledges the importance of SMEs in the Namibian economy and seeks to, amongst others, improve access to funding and capital to SMEs.
The Fund will accordingly be established, to invest in identified SMEs, with a strong growth potential, but unable to borrow and/or acquire additional capital.
The Fund will act as an equity investor in established SMEs, by providing funding in exchange for equity. The SMEs, in which the Fund invests, would then use the equity funding for growth needs and operating capital. The Fund would receive returns through growth of the value of its investments in SMEs.
The Fund will be established in the form of a trust under the Trust Moneys Protection Act 34 of 1934 and is set to be registered as an independent special purpose vehicle (SPV) in terms of the Regulations to the Pension Funds Act 24 of 1956. The Fund will be governed by a board of trustees, a majority of whom will be independent. The Fund is expected to begin recruiting trustees in the near future through an independent recruitment consultancy.
The Fund will adhere to relevant registration processes and requirements, in particular the applicable regulations of the Master of the High Court and the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA).
Speaking about the Fund, DBN Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication Jerome Mutumba expressed the hope that the Fund would lead to catalytic transformation of Namibia’s SME sector. He went on to express the hope that greater exposure to equity funding would reverse the trend and strengthen the SME sector.
DBN has previously launched the Collateral Guarantee Scheme and has pioneered the National Mentoring and Coaching Programme. The Fund is the third and final leg of the SME Financing Strategy.