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Women who want to grow beyond a lifestyle enterprise must knock on SME Compete’s door

Women who want to grow beyond a lifestyle enterprise must knock on SME Compete’s door

Women entrepreneurs who are active in their own small enterprises can look forward to a home-grown business development programme run by SME Compete under the label, Females Fired-up for Business.

This week, the highly respected Managing Director of SME Compete, Claudine Mouton, learned her organisation has been awarded a grant of almost N$600,000 to help her reach more female entrepreneurs in need of coaching that will enable them to grow and expand. The grant comes from the FNB Foundation and is specifically for SME Compete’s two flagship programmes for female entrepreneurs, Business Growth Support Training, and the Females Fired-up Business Programme.

Revonia Kahivere, Manager: Corporate Social Investment at FNB Namibia said that one of the things the sub-Sahara African market has in common is the active presence of women, selling food, vegetables, clothes and many other consumer products. “Women are very visible in most capitals, playing a vital role in the socio-economic fabric of the country. Unfortunately, their economic activities are often limited to the informal or domestic areas. Their potential is yet to be set free,” she said.

From her many years’ experience in training women at all levels, Mouton said “When the need for a skills honing programme specifically for female entrepreneurs was identified, the FNB Foundation’s funding helped SME Compete to conceptualise, develop and prepare material for a Females Fired-up For Business programme. Although it is being run in Windhoek for the first time this week, the programme has previously been presented in Walvis Bay, Keetmanshoop and Ongwediva.”

The success of both start-up and upcoming female entrepreneurs depend to a large degree on their ability to fulfil multiple roles, manage power dynamics in the family, in society and at work, and find time not only to run their businesses but also to plan for growth.

“Women are required to have a multi-skilling ability to cope with routine business challenges and simultaneously cope with domestic circumstance demands,” said Mouton.

The SME Compete training programme for women targets entrepreneurs with a desire to grow their businesses beyond a lifestyle enterprise. Some 50 women have already participated in the training. In the first semester of 2018, SME Compete wants to reach another 90 women in business.

Pictured at the official ceremony where the FNB Foundation announced its substantial grant to SME Compate, are in the front row from the left, Achiera Janga, Revonia Kahivere of the FNB Foundation, Claudine Mouton of SME Compete, Welma Enssle, Peggy Tutalife, Josefina Mutilua and Christien Araes. In the back row are Foibe Haipinge, Leilanie Busch, Leila Nambinga and Hilma Kanhu.



About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.