CEDA goes digital to roll out industry support facility
The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) will employ digital technology to roll out the Industry Support Facility (ISF)
- its latest offering that is meant to cushion Small, Medium and Micro enterprises (SMMEs) against the ravages of COVID-19.
Andrew Madeswi – Chief Operations Officer (COO) at CEDA- revealed in a recent interview that while applications for the facility can be submitted at any of the Agency’s branches, applicants are urged to as much as possible submit their applications online
“In light of the challenges posed by COVID-19, applicants are urged to avoid physically visiting the branches and submit their applications online,” said Madeswi.
He added that online applications can be submitted through a dedicated e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org); or online on the CEDA website (www.ceda.co.bw). The Agency has also set up a dedicated and fully resourced toll free number (0800 600 253) that clients can call for specific questions regarding the ISF.
Said Madeswi: “As CEDA we recognize the importance of e-commerce as a key pillar in the global fight against COVID-19. Online applications for ISF will not only facilitate the digital economy, but also promote social distancing and reduce the risk of new infections.”
The ISF is part of government’s Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP); and is meant to boost economic recovery by supporting businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
“The aim is to revive the economy, protect jobs and promote opportunities for economic diversification,” said Madeswi.
CEDA was given a mandate to administer P300 million from the P1.3 billion that government had allocated towards the ISF. Madeswi said CEDA will use the facility to only finance operating costs and working capital needs. Only 100 percent citizen owned businesses that have been in operation for at least six months with an annual turnover of not more than P10 million qualify for funding. Madeswi added that CEDA will require beneficiary companies to undertake not to retrench employees during the duration of the loan.
“As you know, the objective is to protect jobs,” he said.
So far, CEDA has received 67 applications valued at P26 million for the ISF.