WINDHOEK– Out of 109 youths surveyed , 53% plan to become entrepreneurs within the next five years while 40% are already entrepreneurs.
Ninety two percent feel their education is relevant to what they want to do in the future; 68% believe the definition of an entrepreneur is someone who mixes passion, innovation and drive to turn a vision into a working business. Seventy nine percent are unaware of the government’s grants one can receive if they were to start their businesses; 65% are unaware of various types of bank loans for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and 98% believe youth entrepreneurship can reduce the high rate of unemployment.
Environmental Investment Fund’s Lazarus Nafidi says with reference from the current statistics that about 826,874 youth aged 15 to 34 years are in Namibia. Of them 319,215 are employed, and a further 205,470 are unemployed. This means that the labour force in these age groups totals 524,685, giving a labour force participation rate (LFPR) of 63.5 percent. Males outnumber females among the employed youth population, but females outnumber males among the unemployed.
Earlier this month, the Namibia Youth to Business Forum powered by AISEC Namibia brought businesses and students together to engage in a unique dialogue on topics such as Youth Entrepreneurship and Solution to Unemployment. As a result, AISEC Namibia gathered real-time data from youth on youth entrepreneurship. AIESEC was originally a French acronym for Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales (English: International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences), however, the full name is no longer officially used as members can now come from any university background. The results of the survey complemented the discussions and content of the Youth to Business Forum.
Nafidi says back then there was a culture of dependency but today the youth is starting to realise that the only way to go forward is to do something that will move youth from their current position to a better position. “Young people no longer want to join corporations but now want to create their own entities that will not only create utility but also value for themselves and many around them. With the developing dynamic world, there is so much,” Concludes Nafidi.
Go Safe “Eenda Nawa” Founder and Managing Director, Regto Ndemufayo David, says that innovation and social entrepreneurship is what the youth needs. “The purpose of you to get employed is to learn how corporations operate, learn what it entails to run a business and after that three or four years, five at the most, use that experience and go start your own business so you can employ other less fortunate Namibians who did not get that opportunity,” says David.
“Look at solving Namibian issues at a profit, so things becomes better for all of us, better for our continent. Set up enterprises, Windhoek is not the only place of prosperity, we need to spread out,” David says.
Leap Holdings Founder and Manging Director, Ally Angula, says through failure, you learn and it makes you a lot more innovative. “You learn to do things that you really otherwise would think you are not able to do.
Already know that you will have hard times, they will come but know that from failing you learn and you grow, so embrace it. Use it as an opportunity; look at it as market research. You are just testing your theory and adapting to what the market wants. And find a way of managing your fear,” he says.