A local financial institution has extended a $10 million loan facility to small and medium entrepreneurs for this year, as it seeks to expand the operations of one of the world’s fastest growing industry.

This came out at the second edition of the CBZ International SMEs indaba which kicked off in Bulawayo this Wednesday with organisers saying close to 500 delegates have confirmed participation.

The conference gives room for local based SMEs to interact and form synergies with financial institutions and foreign based business operators.

Speaking to the ZBC News on the sidelines of the indaba, which kicked off with a business to business interactions, CBZ Acting Group CEO, Mr Peter Zimunya said his organisation has increased loans to SMEs to $50 million from $40 million that has been disbursed to the sector so far.

“This year, we have committed $10 million on top of what we gave the SMEs last year. The sector is performing well with the bank having been able to record a 90 percent success rate in this marriage. We are grateful to the new statutory which recognises that movable properties can now be used as guarantees and we believe this will accommodate more people who want to venture into the sector,” said Mr Zimunya.

The SMEs sector’s creativity was on display at the indaba with some entrepreneurs saying the conference has afforded them space to form synergies with international buyers who have fallen in love with their products.

The three day international indaba has drawn participants from India, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana and is being held under the theme: ‘Enhancing SMEs Growth Through Smart Partnerships.’