By Simon Liseli
SIXTEEN entrepreneurs from all six constituencies in the Caprivi region attended a workshop to manage and develop their small businesses in order to create employment for themselves and others who are unemployed.
The workshop which was organized by the SMEs competitiveness consultancy (pty) Ltd known as SMEs COMPETE, was held at Oshana Rest Camp, some five kilometers outside Katima Mulilo.
Mr Danny Meyer, the Director of SME Compete who facilitated the workshop said their aim is to help young Namibian entrepreneurs/small and medium enterprises (SME’s) to create wealth and generate employment. Meyer also added that SME COMPETE’s primary objectives are to improve entrepreneurial , management, marketing and information technology skills of SME firms in Namibia to grow and improve their business performance.
“I have been in this industry for five years now and more than 1.000 SME’s around Namibia have already benefited from SMEs COMPETE, building capacity activity and mentoring services, “ he said.
Meyer further said SMEs COMPETE receives support under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme from the German Development Service, Deutscher Entwicklungsdients . The firm is also supported by way of a long-term service engagement by the First National Bank Namibia (FNB) Ltd.
Services offered by SME Compete are market access. SME’s often struggle to gain access market in order to facilitate this process. It supports its clients in the design of essential marketing materials such as business cards, brochures , interior and external signage. In addition, the organization organizes recurrent expositions and shows, providing upcoming SMEs with a platform to showcase their products services.
SME s COMPETE also offers training courses which are aimed at enhancing business skills and positioning them for growth among other services
Mr Martin Maanda one of the entrepreneurs who attended the workshop described the workshop as a tool to empowerment.
“This workshop has taught me lot of things and I hope that my business will start growing. I have learnt about book-keeping which I never knew about and what it involves but now I have learnt that for my business to grow everything in the business must be in order financially and also as a business I should have a management not a one man business to take every responsibility as we do in our businesses” stressed Manda.
Martin is involved in poultry farming at Sifuha Village in the Kabbe constituency east of the Caprivi region. His project is called Bupilo Poultry Production. The project has more than 150 Chickens at the moment.
Precious Chaka who is the coordinator of Raise Namibia in Katima Mulilo told the Caprivi Vision that she enjoyed the workshop though she was not part of the participants.
“I’m not a participant but I just brought my people here to come and attend this workshop, I’m telling you these people have benefited a lot from this workshop especially on registering a business. Personally I didn’t know about that but now I have knowledge. I hope that their businesses will grow if they use the skills and knowledge they gained in this workshop,” she stressed.
Another participant who owns a grocery shop in Sikanjabuka described the workshop as something that will show changes to those entrepreneurs who attended.
“My plans now are to expand my business by applying the skills and knowledge I gained from the workshop” he said.