NMB, Laxmi Bank and donor agencies joint hands to support MSMEs


Kathmandu, Oct 22. One to Watch, NMB Bank, Laxmi Bank, and Swiss Agency for Development and  Cooperation join forces to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in  Nepal.

One to Watch, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and  in partnership with NMB Bank and Laxmi Bank, has announced the launch of COVID-19 MSME  Fund Nepal.  

The Fund seeks to support MSMEs that are struggling to cope with the challenges brought forth  by COVID-19. It will do so by providing them with bridge financing in order to meet the working  capital needs and technical assistance in the form of business development services to be able  to retain employees, preserve business continuity, and build resilience. The Fund is expected to  support up to 100 MSMEs continue their businesses and help them retain up to 1000 jobs. 

The fund will provide collateral-free loans to MSMEs that are evaluated to have the potential to  bounce back based on a pre-determined set of criteria. The Fund will pay interest on such loans for a period of up to 18 months. Additionally, a subset of such firms will also be provided with business development support that are tailored to meet the needs of beneficiary enterprises. 

“In unprecedented times like these, the Fund will leverage One to Watch’s expertise in investment  and business development, its robust network of investors and entrepreneurs to identify and  support high-impact SMEs. Hopefully, this initiative will be a “pilot” that can be scaled with  participation from more bank partners”, said Suman Joshi, Managing Partner, One to Watch. 

“Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are the backbone of Nepal’s economy. They employ a  large share of the workforce and are drivers of innovation and new job creation. Their rebound,  therefore, will set the foundation for overall economic recovery. As a long standing development  partner of Nepal, SDC is proud to be able to support this initiative together with private sector  partners.”, said H.E. Elisabeth von Capeller, Ambassador of Switzerland to Nepal. 

“As a Retail and MSE focused bank, we are hopeful this collaboration will directly benefit credit worthy smaller entrepreneurs who require access to bank loans in order to sustain their  businesses and livelihoods during an economy under stress. We believe that MSMEs need  special attention and support at this point in time and this sector will play a key role in helping the  economy revive and regain momentum over the medium and long term.”, stated Ajaya Bikram  Shah, CEO, Laxmi Bank.

“NMB Bank is focused on Sustainable Banking and MSMEs are key drivers for sustainable growth  of the economy. Businesses across a range of economic sectors, especially MSMEs, are the  most vulnerable and facing losses. To support their revival plan, NMB, as a partner bank, is  committed to providing collateral-free loans to those highly impacted by the current crisis. NMB is  open to more alliances focused on providing support to such initiatives.”, expressed Sunil KC,  Chief Executive Officer, NMB Bank.