The Guarantee and Support Impulse Fund (Figa) for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and craftsmen signed on June 18 in Brazzaville, with eight local banks, a grant agreement of funding guarantee in the presence of the responsible minister, Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo, and the minister responsible for the budget, Ludovic Ngatse.
The banking structures having signed with Figa, the agreement granting guarantees for the financing of the activities of very small, small and medium-sized enterprises are none other than the BGFI Bank, the International Commercial Bank, the Postal Bank, Crédit du Congo, The Congolese banks, the Sino-Congolese Bank for Africa and UBA.
Le Figa, a public instrument for supporting businesses, will play its part on three components, explained its managing director, Armel Fridelin Mbouloukoué. “Impulse: to support the process of business creation and their support through high balance sheet financing; Guarantee: in order to facilitate access to bank financing via the risk-sharing mechanism with banks and micro-finance; Support: with a view to making advice, technical and accounting assistance, and monitoring of companies that have benefited from financing with the Figa guarantee accessible, “he explained.
For the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Handicrafts, Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo, the signing of this agreement has just sealed a new era of national financial cooperation. “This is the beginning of a solution to the evil, from which very small and medium-sized enterprises in our country suffer: the lack of equity and the lack of collateral,” she said.
The Congolese economic fabric, which is structured mainly around very small, small and medium-sized craft enterprises and SMEs, has become more vulnerable with the restrictive measures linked to the health crisis of covid-19, she recalled, in stressing the urgent need for participatory partnerships between the State, the private sector and civil society.
Nonetheless, Minister Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo acknowledged that financial support alone cannot ensure the viability and sustainability of economic activities. Still, financially assisted companies must benefit from support that guarantees the financial and economic profitability of their activities. Thus, it is therefore useful to involve business incubators and project incubators in this dynamic of fighting unemployment and reducing poverty, particularly among the young and female population.