Trading

SME Mauritius Ltd set up to re-boost the SME sector, says Minister Bholah

The setting up of the SME Mauritius Ltd will spur a new air of dynamism to the SME sector and will ensure the successful implementation of the 10-Year Master Plan. It will, henceforth, shoulder the responsibilities and functions of the Ex Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) following the promulgation of the Small and Medium Enterprises Act on 18 January 2018.

The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, made this announcement on 15 February 2018 in Port-Louis at the launching of the corporate identity of SME Mauritius Ltd, 'Unlocking Potentials'. He highlighted that SME Mauritius Ltd, in due course, will be expected to meet the exigencies and realities of the SME sector as well as provide institutional support to SMEs. The institution, with the support of public and private stakeholders, will be driven by new set of values and visions in order to deal with the upcoming challenges, he emphasised.

He pointed out that the main purposes of the SME Act are to bring a major institutional reform and provide for a new legislative framework. The SME Act, he underlined, is in line with the key recommendations of the 10-Year Master Plan which aims at improving the competitiveness of SMEs and fostering high growth potential for the sector.

To this end, Mr Bholah underscored that SME Mauritius Ltd has already come up with five schemes dedicated to help SMEs respond to the expectations of consumers and infuse new competitive strengths. They are: Access to Market-Barcode Registration; Green Energy Promotion-Solar Photovoltaic Rebate; Mentoring and Hand-holding Programme; Communication and Visibility-Online Presence; and Technology and Skills Transfer-Inclusive Business.

For his part, the Chairman of SME Mauritius Ltd, Mr Peter Neubert, highlighted that the company will give its utmost best to carry out the functions of the Ex-SMEDA efficiently and become a service organisation par excellence. He added that SME Mauritius Ltd will strive to be customer-focused and excel in service delivery to SMEs.

Also present at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of SME Mauritius Ltd, Mr Raj Puddoo, underlined that the schemes have been worked out in close collaboration with several organisations namely the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Economic Development Board, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants; the Mauritius Duty Free Paradise and Business Mauritius. He pointed out that the Board of the SME Mauritius Ltd consists of seven representatives from both the public and private sector.

The Schemes

The Access to Market-Barcode Registration scheme aims at providing financial assistance to SMEs with a view to upgrade their products and facilitate their access to new markets. Under this scheme, SMEs will be encouraged to adopt the Barcode Certification and use barcodes for their products.

The Green Energy Promotion-Solar Photovoltaic Rebate scheme will help SMEs to produce electricity using solar photovoltaic technology. The scheme will operate on the net metering principle which will allow eligible SMEs to produce electricity solely for their own consumption.

The Mentoring and Hand-holding Programme scheme will strengthen SMEs through hand-holding, mentoring and coaching activities. It will support innovation and share knowledge with industry experts.

The Communication and Visibility-Online Presence scheme will assist SMEs in developing and implementing the various tools and means for online presence and marketing.

The Technology and Skills Transfer-Inclusive Business scheme will encourage and stimulate best business practices for achieving higher productivity and competitiveness and accelerate the democratisation of the economy by creating additional business opportunities for start-ups and other small businesses.

Source: Government of Mauritius