Windhoek-Entrepreneurship is key to job creation. Not all SMEs create jobs, however, especially during the early stages of the venture. By nurturing and encouraging entrepreneurship, we can create an environment to grow informal survivalist businesses into more structured business ventures that could have a longer lifespan and create much needed employment.
Entrepreneurship seen from this point of view, contributes to economic growth, toward empowering women, the youth and disabled members of the community.
“I have no doubt that entrepreneurship is key to job creation. I do however believe that there is more that needs to be done to foster an entrepreneurship culture in Namibia. This will enable more SMEs to graduate and become larger business ventures,” said Mbo Luvindao, Manager at Bank Windhoek’s Emerging Small and Medium Enterprise Branch.
The most daunting questions that face entrepreneurs who would want to start a business, are: How do I formalise my business idea? Why is a business plan necessary? What steps are involved in developing a business plan? Where to find help in getting the business started?
Entrepreneurs are often defined as innovators. They are creative and often start a business because of a need or gap they have identified in their communities. “A business idea should come about as a solution to a challenge in a given community or society at large. If the solution is applied efficiently, adopted by the community with ease and subscribed to repetitively, the business will grow. The willingness of the entrepreneur to keep his finger on the pulse and continuously respond to the changing demands of his market will determine the success of the business in the long term” said Luvindao.
However, back to basics
Once you have identified a need for a particular service or product, you will most probably come up with a business idea to meet that need. You will then need to formalise your business idea and create a business plan.
Steps involved in developing a business plan
A business plan is a document that clearly sets out the goals and objectives of your new business and explains how they will be achieved. The plan should also include any anticipated challenges and plans on how these challenges will be overcome. In simple terms, a business plan is a road map that indicates a business’ goals and how the entrepreneur plans on achieving these goals.
Business plans differ, but in general they should include the description of the business, its products and services, target market, details on the management of the business and staff, details on competitors and a marketing strategy.
“The most important thing is that once the plan is completed, the entrepreneur must fully understand it and be able to defend what it states about the business,” said Luvindao.
Getting your business started
Lack of start-up capital remains one of the major obstacles for entrepreneurs. Bank Windhoek understands this and the ESME Branch was established to mitigate this challenge.
Bank Windhoek’s ESME Branch caters for Namibian entrepreneurs with the potential to contribute positively to the country’s economy. With its new improved service offering, entrepreneurs can now gain access to finance and conduct their business banking activities at one convenient location.
“To further strengthen its relationship with customers, the Bank offers support such as mentoring and training programmes. These targeted programmes are designed to guide entrepreneurs to successfully manage their business’ finances and assist business owners in any other areas where they require guidance,” concluded Luvindao.