Reaching customers at shows help entrepreneurs grow
According to the Director of SMEs Compete, Danny Meyer, more exhibitors are accommodated since the show has been expanded to include an outdoors area.
“The annual Uis Expo has continued to grow since the first one took place three years ago in 2010,” said Meyer.
Although not in the same league as established shows in the larger urban areas, like the Ongwediva Trade Fair and the Windhoek Show, small enterprises from as far afield as Oshakati, Lüderitz and Windhoek have booked stands to showcase their wares and to promote services. Exhibitors will again have an opportunity to do business as well as network and form business linkages, with other entrepreneurs from all parts of the country.
The Uis Expo 2012 is organised by SMEs Compete, a social entrepreneurship firm that supports wealth and job creation in the small and medium enterprise sector.
A private sector initiative that compliments SME support programmes run by government ministries and departments, SMEs Compete routinely arranges expositions in smaller urban areas like Uis, to underscore local economic development strategies and to help local SMEs and small firms from other towns, to access new markets and reach more customers.
First National Bank provides funding support for market access events like the Uis Expo. Most of the funding goes towards sponsoring entrepreneurs from towns around the country to participate.
Meyer said resources are limited but to ensure maximum impact, in terms of securing new business and customers, entrepreneurs who benefit from sponsorships are carefully selected. “They must demonstrate seriousness when it comes to conducting business and have the ability and productive capacity to venture and do business beyond the confines of the town in which they operate.”
Meyer said that this will ensure that the funding generosity of FNB and other private sector firms is not misplaced and that the longer term objective of wealth and job creation is met.
He said the ability to access market events are an important component of SMEs Compete’s work with the SME sector. And they intend to host more Expo markets such as in Arandis in October and another in the Caprivi region at the end of November.