Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Manager: Corporate Communications, Jerome Mutumba, says the Bank is seeking opportunities to finance retail, wholesale and franchises. The Bank, he says, has a wide range of products that are geared to assist retail and wholesale operations to grow, as well as to enable new operations to open their doors.
Mutumba says that the Bank is particularly seeking retail expansion into regions with lower levels of economic activity. In addition to employment opportunities, retail in particular stimulates regional growth.
On the topic of the footprint of the sector, Mutumba says that large concentrations of retailers in larger centres, such as at Windhoek or the coast, experience diminishing returns as more outlets vie for the consumer dollar. By spreading to larger centres in regions which have been historically ignored as sources of enterprise growth, retailers can find new opportunities to grow. Group retail operations may also benefit from more frequent spending, and additional disposable income that would previously have been restricted due to the need to travel for shopping.
The Bank’s range of products, Mutumba says, is the optimum mix to support the sector. Products include finance geared for construction of retail premises and warehousing, vehicle and asset financing in terms of which moveable assets including vehicles financed by the Bank through instalment sale agreements (ISA), and term loans. Contract based finance is available to support tenders for provision of goods to state owned entities, the private sector, and NGOs, among others. Franchise finance is also supported by performance guarantees required by master franchisors.
On the topic of flexibility, Mutumba says DBN understands that there may be challenges faced by the enterprise. In order to address this, the Bank may tailor finance to ensure viability of the enterprise.