smes. sme. financing

Executives from the insurance and banking sectors participated in a panel discussion at the Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) 2023 conference and exhibition taking place in Luanda, discussing financing solution for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Angola.

Moderated by Uju Paulcy, Founder of Inveta Group, the panel featured Juvelino Domingos, CFO, Banco Angolano de Invesimentos; Kianda Trozo, CEO, Protteja Seguros; and Rui Bastos, Partner and Global Business Risk Consulting Leader, EY.

As Angola focuses on diversifying the local economy, SMEs increasingly require financial institutions to provide innovative products and loans to support the development of key projects. As such, the panel explored current opportunities for SMEs to access financing from banks and insurance companies and strategic approaches for financial inclusion in Angola’s oil and gas sector.

“SMEs are facing an interesting challenge, particularly in this part of the world,” stated Bastos, adding, “The biggest issue we see is their ability to relate sustainability-related projects to financially viable projects.”

Meanwhile, it was noted that SMEs serve as the backbone of most economies, contributing on average to more than 40% of the GDP in Angola. As such, straight finance, improved liquidity and customer-oriented solutions were noted as strategies to make SMEs more resilient in the country’s business environment.

“As we know, the business environment in Angola is challenging, not only for SMEs, but for large corporations as well,” stated Domingos, adding, “We can provide specific products and services tailored to their needs. We have protocols with SMEs in the oil and gas sector in order to facilitate access to loans through more flexible conditions.”

The panel highlighted the obligations of SMEs to meet the terms of their payments in the oil and gas space of Angola. It was noted that SMEs need to work efficiently, examine the risks of the sector, and meet the specifications of the economies of the countries they operate in.

“The greatest challenge to fund our economy is related to the knowledge of the risk,” stated Trozo.

Taking place under the theme, ‘Energy Security, Decarbonization and Sustainable Development’, AOG 2023, organized by Energy Capital & Power, placed an emphasis on the role of companies in the global energy transition. It was noted during the panel discussion that upcoming SMEs have a unique opportunity in the global energy landscape due to the levels of experience they bring to a just and fair transition.