Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

SMEDA is an governmental agency that supports and facilitates the development of entrepreneurship and SMEs in Mauritius. the bottom line mission of SMEDA is to help Mauritians start, build and grow businesses.SMEDA seeks to develop an entrepreneurial culture in Mauritius where a significant proportion of the population is willing to start a business.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Technological innovation is regarded as a fundamental source of firm survival and growth. The economic environment in which SMEs in Mauritius currently operate is characterized by several challenges which collectively impact negatively on the costs and productivity. With globalization, SMEs have come under competitive pressure coming especially from firms that are situated in more favourable contexts. Local SMEs have to seek opportunities in the global marketplace and are thus vulnerable to external shocks. It has been facing difficult conditions with the recent global financial crisis and Euro crisis. Therefore, in such a dynamic and turbulent background, technological innovations by SMEs assume significance.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

• To provide attractive and accessible financial schemes or incentives to fund pro innovation projects. • To aggressively push for increased exploitation of ICT at operational, strategic and research levels and provide further incentives and support for the optimal use of ICT. • To set up an SME Resource and Technology Centre in order to keep a technological watch at the international innovations and to study, assimilate and diffuse these innovative technologies for the benefit of the local SMEs. • To encourage SMEs to visit international technology fairs to adopt latest technologies. • To strengthen capacity of entrepreneur through provision of specialized training. • To provide business incubator services to people with viable business ideas. • To organize business angels forum to network with potential investors. • To sensitise SMEs to make use of Cloud computing to modernize their business operations and improve productivity.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT Technology Diffusion Scheme (TDS)& Acquisition of Technology Scheme(ATS) The TDS: to sharpen the competitiveness of SMEs to meet challenges posed by global competition. Financial assistance:cost sharing grant (75% of project cost) up to a ceiling of Rs 500,000 to purchase equipment &machinery. The Scheme was renewed &renamed Acquisition of Technology Scheme. The revised condition was :cost sharing grant of at least 50% up to the limit of Rs 500,000, •International SME Expo Scheme : provides SMEs with a refund of 50% of the costs incurred in visiting foreign technology fairs.Enabling them to access new costs reducing and competitive edge increasing technologies.Partial grant up to a limit of Rs 50,000 for expenses of air ticket &accommodation of one representative of the visiting SME. •Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) Operational until 2010 designed to access external resources and expertise not available in house.The Fund supported inter-alia consulting projects supporting innovation, enhancing access to new technologies &new ways of creating value addition. It provided SMEs with a cost sharing maximum grant of Rs 500,000 up to a limit of 75% of the eligible activity costs. •SME Resource and Technology Centre (SRTC) set up at SMEDA.It acts as a knowledge hub;provides coaching and support as well as fast and reliable access to the internet.Cloud computing:SMEs can access SME Cloud Computing Services on the website of SMEDA for a free trial period of 30 days.Cloud will be charged on a ‘pay-as-you-use’ pricing.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Well, competitors are the Entrepreneurs who import products from China &India where the cost of products are cheaper. So to address this the Government has emphasised a lot to support local products by encourageing them int the following :Add quality, lower cost of production (without comprising with quality), the government has offered Rs500,000 grants to Enterprises which are purchase new equipment to innovate their products, add value to their products. Goverment is also subsidizing entrepreneurs who want to go for export.SMEs are entitled a grant to finance their participation in international fairs up to a maximum of Rs 100,000 per year.

Founding Story

The potential of new technologies for continuously improving productivity and quality, developing new products and services, enhancing reliability, reducing costs, and above all, achieving greater flexibility are widely acknowledged by scholars and researchers. The positive outcome of a scheme implemented by SMEDA in 2006 to reward entrepreneurs with high business growth potential has triggered the idea to financially support SMEs for acquiring new technologies to improve their efficiency and competitiveness. It is firmly believed that if SMEs are not financially supported, there would less scope for SMEs to acquire new technologies because of the cost factor (since Mauritius is an importer of capital goods). It is therefore essential to support SMEs to capitalise effectively on new technologies for their long term survival and prosperity, the moreso in the context of globalization which has brought about increased competition.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Country

, VP

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity, Policy change/advocacy.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Access to finance : 150 Enterprises enjoyed the Start-Up Grants of Rs 50,000. Many SMEs have benefitted from the loan at low interest rate (7.9%) ceiling Rs150,000 to purchase new equipment and raw materials.
There has been a big increase in the number of enterprise registered with SMEDA. 36 SMEs benefitted under the Technology Diffusion Scheme (for acquisition of technologies) for a total sum of Rs 14.9m and the projects of 51 SMEs for availing of grants for technology acquisition have been approved under the Acquisition of Technology Scheme.
• 19 SMEs took advantage of the International SME Technology Scheme whereby they took stock and purchased latest technologies.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Increase business formation to facilitate business dynamism through a constant stream of new entrants into the market. Expand number of high growth and innovative firms as they generate a substantial share of employment and output in the company as well as having the scale to be globally competitive

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The insolvency of the successful applicant/s after the grant has been awarded as well as the sale of the technology sponsored by SMEDA within its initial 5 years of use can hinder the success of the project. To overcome these factors, SMEDA will firstly analyse the past records and business credibility of the applicants by scrutinizing thoroughly its business plan and gathering field information on the applicants. Secondly, a clause will be inserted in the contract between SMEDA and the successful applicants outlining actions such as recovery of the grant disbursed (by way of legal actions if need be) in case of default.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Innovative and new Technology acquired and implemented by fifty SMEs in the manufacturing sector.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Screening and selection of eligible project applications by Project Implementation Committee set up at SMEDA

Task 2

Visit to eligible enterprises to determine the genuineness and worthiness of the application

Task 3

Approval of projects by a Technical Committee set up at SMEDA and disbursement of grant on a matching or reimbursement basis.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Increased sales of products manufactured by SMEs as a result of enhanced quality, efficiency and competitiveness of SMEs.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Ensure (monitor)that the approved technology is acquired and successfully integrated once disbursement is effected to the compan

Task 2

Provide free coaching &mentoring services to beneficiaries to implement actionplan for business growth &improved competitiveness

Task 3

Evaluate the growth of the beneficiary SMEs one year after the upgrading of the technology by comparing sales turnover.

Tell us about your partnerships

SMEDA has signed MOU with local insitutions to help us support enterprises; like Microsoft, Harrel Mallac, etc. We have collaborative arrangements with many overseas institutions like :Entrepreneurs Development Institute (EDI) in India, NSIC (india), JICA (Japan) to training the staff to perform better and bring new ideas to support SMEs.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Furthermore, due to limited market size (population of 1.3 million) in Mauritius, local SMEs have to seek opportunities in the global marketplace and are thus vulnerable to external shocks. It has been facing difficult conditions with the recent global financial crisis and Euro crisis. Therefore, in such a dynamic and turbulent background, technological innovations by SMEs assume significance.