SME Corner: Meet the tenderers/entrepreneurs in the market

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Windhoek

The realisation that there will always be a need for affordable food to the workforce out there inspired this lady to open Kanime’s Kitchen. New Era’s Tender Reporter Steven Klukowski spoke to the sole owner of Kanime’s Kitchen, Nkandi Josephine Kanime, to learn more.

New Era (NE): How long has Kanime’s Kitchen been in existence and how big is the company’s workforce? If possible, please tell us about the gender composition in your workforce. 

Nkandi Josephine Kanime (NJK): My company has been in business since February 2014 and I employ three Namibians – all of them females. 

NE: Tell us about the shareholding or ownership of the business?

NJK: I am the (100% shareholder) sole owner of this business.

NE:  What business is your company involved in?

NJK: Kanime’s Kitchen’s core business is to sell affordable food (lunch) to the surrounding workforce on a daily basis.

NE:  Being a one-year-old company, what challenges are you experiencing when applying for standard mandatory, good standing certificates at Inland Revenue, Social Security, Trade and Industry, etc?

NJK: At times this process can be delayed at the relevant offices, but in general it is satisfactory. 

NE:  What is your view regarding the frequent reporting about ‘tenderpreneurship’ and the association of the term with corruption in the tender process and what can be done to address it?

NJK: Corruption in general is a very bad thing; it creates unemployment and poverty. More fairness should be applied during these processes so that all can be treated the same. People involved in the awarding of tenders must start to do things in the right and honest manner.

NE: Some Namibian companies are increasingly entering into joint ventures with foreign companies.  How, in your view, can Namibians benefit from these joint ventures in terms of employment opportunities and sharing of wealth?

NJK: Namibian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should benefit more when forming these joint ventures with big foreign companies. The majority of the unskilled workforce should furthermore be Namibian who can then be trained to gain more skills. More shares should in the long run be allocated to the Namibian partner. 

NE: What programmes are in place in terms of skills development and capacity building of employees at your company?

NJK: I give on-the-job training to my employees, as a means of skills development and capacity building.

NE: What is your company’s view on giving back to the community?

NJK: I always provide the needy ones with leftover food when it is available.

NE: What is the rate of success of your company’s output regarding tenders being awarded to you? 

NJK: Kanime’s Kitchen is not involved in the tender process at this stage since we are concentrating more on catering, but will consider tendering at a later stage.

NE: Do your employees belong to a pension fund and medical aid scheme, and if not in which way are they assisted in this regard?

NJK: We are only registered with the Social Security Commission at this stage.

NE: How well equipped are your employees when it comes to occupational health and safety at the workplace?

NJK: As we are operating in the catering industry, all employees are equipped with head nets and hand gloves. As a safety measure against fires, we furthermore installed a fire extinguisher at our workplace.

NE: Any innovative ideas/own initiatives that you might have tested before you want to share with the readers?

NJK: Yes, after failing to finish my secondary education, I decided to start a business in order to become self-sufficient. The idea of selling affordable food to people then came to my mind, resulting in the establishment of Kanime’s Kitchen.   

NE: Anything else you want to mention?

NJK: Yes, unemployed people should stop sitting around and waiting for government to assist them, they should become more creative and make use of opportunities out there to contribute towards our economy. Never give up hope in life, even if it is sometimes difficult.

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