Filling automotive engineering enterprise gap

DBN supports Mekemo Trading

21 September 2020 | Business

Mekemo Trading, a mechanical and automotive services provider based in Katutura, is the recipient of skills-based finance for young artisans by the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN).
Operated by Rens Mekemo Shilongo (33), Mekemo Trading provides automotive services including mechanical services, spray painting and panel beating for cars, trucks, buses, farm implements and mining and construction equipment.
The company currently employs four mechanics and two panel beaters.
Shilongo, who has an NQF3 level qualification in automotive engineering, said he would use the money to purchase tools and equipment, which will enable it to expand and strengthen operations, as well as for working capital.
DBN’s acting head of SME finance Hellen Amupolo said Shilongo is an excellent example of what the bank set out to achieve with skills-based finance for young entrepreneurs. “Mekemo’s business checks the boxes on an ideal skills-based youth enterprise and services a number of businesses. With a shortage of vocational skills to drive industrialization, our finance for young artisans is geared to make skills that are in short supply available to a spread of enterprises,” she said.
Amupolo added that Shilongo has a good track record, which shows entrepreneurial maturity and this is the likely basis for long-term sustainability and growth. “With six employees, Mekemo als fulfils the need for youth entrepreneurs to create employment.”
She added that the company showed willingness to put in the work necessary to develop a successful application for finance, and has shown viability. “If young entrepreneurs apply, but business plans are not viable, the bank cannot lend,” she said.

Collateral
On the topic of collateral, Amupolo reiterated that DBN accommodates young entrepreneurs with lower levels of collateral or no collateral to offer, adding that assets financed by the bank can also be used as collateral.
Amupolo called on potential youth borrowers to visit the bank’s website (www.dbn.com.na) and to familiarise themselves with the bank’s requirements. “Once applicants are familiar with the requirements and have downloaded the applications, contact the bank to find out how the application can proceed.”
The DBN’s skills-based facility for young artisans and professionals is designed to enable aspirant entrepreneurs with professional or artisan qualifications, but with limited or no collateral, to embark on the course of entrepreneurship. It also enables young entrepreneurs with emerging businesses to expand. The Bank defines young entrepreneurs as aged 36 and younger, but will, in exceptional circumstances, accept applicants aged up to 40.

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