Fish-4-Business project draws huge interest
The process of sorting through the hundreds of applications from across the country has commenced for the Fish-4Business project.
The Erongo Marine Fish-4-Business project, in partnership with Etosha Fishing and SMEs Compete, is an empowerment initiative that supports entrepreneurship and thereby growth of small enterprises specifically in rural Namibia.
Currently, organisers of the Erongo Marine received hundreds of applications for its small business empowerment initiative that was launched last year in September, with the opening of the first concept fish shop in the Onandjila Village near Okahao in the Omusati Region.
The finalists will be notified at the end of April. The total capital injection put in by Erongo Marine per shop is about N$300,000, excluding the costs related to the business training programme, which is also sponsored by Erongo Marine.
Through correspondence with applicants it is evident that the sale of fish in rural communities not only contributes to food security in these outlying areas, but can also be a strong economic driver for entrepreneurs in these areas. he objective of the project is to help small shop owners in these rural communities grow their businesses and create jobs through the sale of horse mackerel. In this way these entrepreneurs will directly contribute to poverty alleviation, increased local fish consumption and food security in these areas. Overall to the development of Namibia’s economy.
The investment by Erongo Marine per rural shop will include a walk-in cold storage unit erected on-site, in-store display fridges, scales, improvements to the actual shop including a fresh paint job and branding, as well as a start-up “capital investment” in the form of frozen horse mackerel for resell by the shop owner. A donation of canned Efuta Maasbanker will also be made by Etosha Fishing.
In addition to this, each shop owner will be given the opportunity to undergo specialised SME business training provided by SMEs Compete, a consultancy firm renowned for assisting small and medium enterprises grow their business to create wealth and employment.
The project was initiated by Erongo Marine Enterprises as its flagship Corporate Social Investment programme. Etosha Fishing Corporation contributes to the Fish-4-Business project with a donation of its own locally canned horse mackerel product, Efuta Maasbanker. A sister company of Erongo Marine and also subsidiary of Oceana Namibia, Etosha Fishing.