(African Development Bank) – The Project The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development Program Completed in June 2020 has helped 716 Seychelles MSMEs access to funding, according to a project completion report released by the African Development Bank on 4 February 2021.
Launched in 2014, the project is funded by the African Development Bank’s Technical Assistance Fund for the Private Sector in Africa (FAPA) for $ 1.2 million. This removed two barriers to the growth of MSMEs in the 115-archipelagoes of the Indian Ocean: difficulties in accessing funds and a lack of entrepreneurial skills.
Thanks to its implementation, the number of MSMEs has almost doubled from 360 in 2015 to 719 in 2016, compared to the initial target of 540 MSMEs in 2016. Debt recovery also improved from 10% to 30% in 2015 and 90% in 2017.
Seychelles MSMEs have mainly benefited from project implementation with access to funding from the Small Business Finance Corporation (SPFA). They benefited from a more favorable environment and less complex procedures. They have also benefited from training programs run by the Small Business Development Corporation (SENPA). These trainings include basic training in entrepreneurship and management skills, developing business plans for providing to SPFA or other business lenders, and following through to verify the optimal nature of MSMEs. In addition, 509 small and medium enterprises were trained in the structure of entrepreneurial skills and the development of business management.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, eight trainers and eight senpa staff were trained in 2017.
In addition, the Seychelles government has provided formal support to the MSME division through a development strategy. Two agencies, SPFA and Senpa, benefited from organizational capacity building and the improvement of their information management system.
In 2018, after initially achieving the target results, the project had some savings, which allowed it to implement many additional functions. Thus, the University of Seychelles and Guy Moral organized another training cycle in support of the 200 MSMEs. For this cycle, the main emphasis was on financial management (an area where participants in previous trainings demanded more training).
Thanks to the savings made under the scheme, two more achievements were obtained, especially the preparation of a draft white paper and new legislation on the issuance of building permits to simplify the procedures for obtaining permits.
« The project has been successfully implemented. The output and end indicators were satisfactory and major project activities were carried out », Welcomed the African Development Bank in the statement.