Windhoek – A major concern in Katutura is the number of talented people living in poverty, unable to utilize their considerable potential due to lack of advice and opportunities. Team Namibia aims to help address this issue with welcomed financial assistance from the Embassy of Finland.
Team Namibia will train 25 micro and small entrepreneurs with promising business ideas from informal and existing business sectors in Katutura for the next two years. The Embassy of Finland has allocated N$1.9 million to help equip SMEs for integration into the national and international economies. A key goal of this is to encourage socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurial activities which contribute to poverty eradication. Practical sessions will focus on assisting SMEs to identify competitive and viable business opportunities, with an emphasis on mobilizing local funding and operational business management.
The extremely high unemployment in Namibia, especially in rural areas, has resulted in increased rural-urban migration and huge informal settlements, particularly in Windhoek. Roberta da Costa, CEO of Team Namibia, explains: “Several people living in poverty in the different Katutura informal settlements have entrepreneurial and technical talents, but lack the business knowledge on financing, administration and product innovation to profitably run a successful business. The training programme will also educate participants on basic business principles, regulatory requirements of a business, procurement procedures, production management, personnel management, marketing and financial management.”
Because of this funding, Katutura will benefit from employment creation opportunities which will, in turn, reduce social inequalities by increasing the participation of Katutura’s women and youth in the process.
“Team Namibia’s mandate of increasing the consumption of local products and services cannot be achieved if we do not invest in the quality output of our SMEs through enhancing our country’s capacity,” states da Costa. However, da Costa also cautioned its members that funding received for increasing capacity should not be an excuse for failing to meet their financial obligations to Team Namibia. Projects funded by entities such as the Embassy of Finland aid in developing Namibia’s SME sector and the next generation of business leaders.
A comprehensive campaign to encourage existing and future entrepreneurs to apply for the scheme will commence before the end of 2016. Application forms will be ready for collection as from the 2nd January 2017. Once the project has successfully been completed in Windhoek in 2018, it will be implemented in other disadvantaged areas.