Windhoek-“I want to be the change in my community,” says sole owner of Olivia’s Investment CC, Christopher Olivier van Wyk. The 32-year old Windhoek entrepreneur had the desire to own his own company and today he has accomplished that dream.
Olivia’s Investment CC, named after his daughter, specialises in digital satellite television, sound systems, telephone networks, closed-circuit cameras, air-conditioning, alarms, intercoms, electrical fencing and access control installations. The company has five full-time employees. With a fleet of two branded vehicles, it delivers electronical services within and around Windhoek. He says that many young people believe there is no other way to make it in life but to be a gangster in the streets. “This is a waste of time and it is not cool,” he said. He took it upon himself to make a difference.
Five years ago Van Wyk was employed as a call centre operator at a security company. It also specialised in electronics installations. After he acquired the necessary experience, Van Wyk decided to go for his dream.
“I took my last pay cheque, paid my rent and bought myself a backpack, a screwdriver and a cutter, and never looked back since,” he said. Since 2012 he has been a Bank Windhoek client. Van Wyk says he has tirelessly worked towards realising his dream and managed to save most of the proceeds. This allowed him to start Olivia’s Investment CC. As his business grew, he planned on acquiring another vehicle. He sought financial assistance and approached Bank Windhoek’s emerging small and medium enterprises (ESME) finance branch. His application was approved.
Bank Windhoek’s ESME finance branch partners with Namibian entrepreneurs who positively contribute to the local economy. It offers a comprehensive range of products tailored to entrepreneurs’ individual business needs. With its new improved service offering, entrepreneurs can now gain access to finance and conduct their business banking activities at one convenient location.
“Christopher showed how determined he was when he started his business. He is young, committed and runs his business in a disciplined manner,” said Bank Windhoek’s ESME finance branch manager Mbo Luvindao. Born in Khomasdal as the only child, Van Wyk’s life was hard – he had a difficult upbringing. He completed his secondary education at Jan Mohr Secondary School in Windhoek. The death of his mother changed his perspective towards life. “I promised myself to do the best I can for her sake and to be an example to the youth,” he said. Van Wyk’s community is proud of his accomplishment. Case in point are his technicians. Bonnie Felix, 33, said that Christopher changed his life. “I can now support my family,” said Felix.
Sisko Marumbu, 31, and Ismael Numumbanduka, 21, said they are happy and inspired by Van Wyk.
Asked what challenges he had when he initially started his business, Van Wyk responded that he always thinks positively and that any challenge that presents itself is an opportunity to find a solution. He added that although start-up capital was the major challenge, he did not let this deter him.
“Business is good and the income is invested back into the business for sustainability,” he said. He advised young aspiring entrepreneurs not to expect handouts. “Be determined to succeed in life,” he said.
Van Wyk said he aims to employ more young people and plans to expand to other parts of the country in the near future.