Programme to empower SMEs and entrepreneurs to be launched in August
A programme to train and empower SMEs and entrepreneurs in the country, the Olafika SME Development and Mentorship Programme will be launched in Windhoek on 9 August.
The event will double as a book launch as well and the book, titled, ‘Successful Entrepreneurship’, will be unveiled.
The programme designed by entrepreneur, businesswoman and author, Ms. Twapewa Kadhikwa in partnership with the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) will assist and guide those who are at the early stages of business to learn from and be guided by accomplished entrepreneurs.
Kadhikwa said Olafika, means, ‘The time is now’ and according to her the time has arrived for people to make that move in starting their entrepreneurial journey.
“SMEs are the backbone of many economies in the world and this can be the same in Namibia if we build their capacities. The Government attaches great importance to facilitating the development of SMEs in equipping them to enhance their competitiveness,” she added.
Under the SME Development Mentorship Programme, accomplished entrepreneurs, professionals and academics render expert advice to SME owners, helping them lay a good foundation to develop their business, widen their exposure and expand business connections, thereby raising their competitiveness.
The programme will have an annual intake of five SMEs per region, culminating into 70 SMEs per year. NDTC believes that this is real economic empowerment and development.
The programme will cover topics that will include: Understanding entrepreneurship; Planning your business; Managing your finances; Managing your people; Marketing and Sales as well as Running your business.
The mentorship will take place over a 3-month period of intensive training and engagement and once completed, NDTC will host a graduation ceremony.
According to Kadhikwa post graduation, the NDTC will host the Olafika National SME expo leading to the Olafika National SME Awards where the SME of the year will be showcased to the Nation and the world. In order to ensure continuity and a culture of each one teach one, we will form the Olafika Alumni.
Meanwhile, the target audiences for the Programme are: Existing entrepreneurs willing to grow their businesses; family owned business owners; export focused SMEs; SMEs adding value to local raw materials; local emerging entrepreneurs.
Furthermore Kadhikwa said, mentorship is key in the development of any individual, especially when starting or growing a business. Mentorship provides the mentee an opportunity to learn from an experienced person who walks the journey with them towards success, she concluded.