Windhoek-Bank Windhoek and the National Youth Council recently embarked on the fifth phase of a strategic partnership that started in 2008. The Credit for Youth in Business Programme allows for capital and mentorship support to entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 and 35 years.
The programme’s success can be attributed to the organization and commitment of the youth council and its regional representatives.
The Credit for Youth in Business Programme focuses on enabling youth entrepreneurship as a key driver of Namibia’s future economy.
Bank Windhoek has forged strategic alliances with selected role players in the emerging market sector. The goal of these partnerships is to collectively deliver appropriate products and complementary services to the market.
Mbo Luvindao, manager of Bank Windhoek’s Emerging Small and Medium Enterprises (ESME) Branch, commented that the challenges faced by entrepreneurs include lack of access to markets, inadequate education and lack of support services.
“Bank Windhoek ESME Finance is addressing some of these challenges by providing mentorship to small business owners,” said Luvindao.
The government recognised the importance of the ESME sector early and in 1997 commissioned the draft of the National Policy on ESMEs in Namibia. The policy was reviewed in 2015 and the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development engaged a wide variety of stakeholders for input to the revised policy.
“Bank Windhoek realised the important role that ESMEs play in stimulating economic growth and creating employment, which is why the bank set up a dedicated ESME division to assist start-ups and bridge the gap between the informal and formal business sector,” said Luvindao.
“These strategic partnerships can contribute to Namibia’s economy on a long-term basis. We help finance any Namibian entrepreneur who meets the qualifying criteria,” said Luvindao.