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Work hard! You will be rewarded

Irja Ndapewoshali Shivute, owner and director of Sti Decor & Rentals.

Irja Ndapewoshali Shivute, owner and director of Sti Decor & Rentals.

Irja Ndapewoshali Shivute, owner and director of Sti Decor & Rentals has been running her small business since December 2001. Shivute worked for UNFPA on a contract basis during which she decided to start her own business as she had to acquire a number of items such as table cloths, flowers, cutlery and crockery over a number of months. These she used as part of the service she provided to UNFPA.
Today, Sti Decor & Rentals handles events, functions, conferences, weddings as well as interior décor.
Shivute recalls the beginning: “It was tough at the beginning as I was on my own and I enlisted the help of my sisters and used my mother’s bakkie – without being able to pay them a cent. The business started blossoming when I got married and with my husband’s support everything started growing and we purchased a bigger pick-up truck as our decorating items multiplied. And we could also start remunerating my family.”
Shivute then needed bigger items such as a tent and chairs and turned to FNB Namibia’s SME Division for a loan. “I was referred to FNB Namibia by a friend who said FNB can fund your business to grow even bigger. I opened an account and applied for a loan. Within a short time I was granted a loan to purchase my tents, mats, and chairs. I am extremely grateful that FNB gave me this opportunity to expand my business and I am certainly producing the results.”
The company now employs six permanent employees and five on a contract basis. She had to end her contractual obligations to UNFPA to put all her time into her own fast-expanding business. Sti Decor & Rentals is based Tsumeb and has recently branched to Ondangwa. She said they are prepared to provide their services anywhere in Namibia.
Her advice to youngsters and aspiring entrepreneurs is: “First and foremost finish your schooling and where possible study courses related to your career and get a job where you earn some money to start purchasing items you need. Then you can apply for assistance from institutions like the commercial banks, some of which are willing to aid small and medium enterprises to grow even further. And work hard – you will be rewarded.”

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