BSP is committed to helping Small to Medium Businesses (SMEs) in Papua New Guinea grow and this is evident in the fact that more than 14,000 SME’s are using the bank’s Smart Business Account and have direct access to finance via the BSP Smart Business Loan.
According to Dennis Konu, who heads the banks Smart Business Unit, since 2013, BSP has provided in excess of K40 million in loans to this valuable group of bank customers. The Smart Business Loan product was introduced as part of BSP’s strategy to empower the large number of small to medium businesses in Papua New Guinea.
“The product has generated considerable interest around PNG and is gaining momentum with over 800 loans funded. Despite the inherent risk associated with small business lending BSP has developed a process and criteria that suits the capacity of small businesses,” Mr Konu explained.
The Smart Business Loan is accessible to registered SMEs that have traded for more than 12 months and use a business bank account. BSP extracts critical financial information about the business, from banking records to calculate how much the business can borrow. The loan is aimed at SMEs that may experience difficulty in meeting certain commercial lending requirements such as providing financial statements, or contributing equity and loan collateral.
Owner of a local SME, Tapioca Delight, Ginia Siaguru, is a success story of the BSP Smart Business Loan product, which she used to purchase equipment that has helped her business grow.
She says: “Looking for Small Business Loans can be challenging, but with BSP, having an established banking relationship helped me to further explore other options like opening a Business Account. It is through this Smart Business Account that has paved way for us to take out a Smart Business Loan.”
Another success story, Rossica Salika, who owns Rossal (Tual Immess) Limited, a tailoring business in Port Moresby shares similar sentiments to Ms Siaguru. Rossica admits that it was difficult to seek additional finance to purchase new sewing machines to increase productivity. She had operated through her personal bank account. Things changed for the better, when she was introduced to the Small Business Package and Loan products.
“The business was in operation for over 12 months, and my bank statements were easily obtained and supplied when I applied for a Smart Business Loan. BSP staff were helpful and assisted me in completing the application and ensuring all requirements were provided,” she said.
Rossica used the Smart Business Loan to purchase two new sewing machines, hired two more seamstresses. Her business is growing. And with her business growing she is able to give local women an employment to “earn some money and support their family”.