SME owners get opportunity to pitch to clients and investors to kickstart their business plans
The owners of eleven Small and Medium Enterprises had the opportunity last week to pitch their plans for expansion to prospective clients, donors and investors at a business forum organised by Team Namibia.
All the SMEs have participated in Team Namibia’s entrepreneurship training programme and are now ready to take the plunge into a bigger business, but to accomplish this, funding is required.
The Team’s Account Director, Bärbel Kirchner, highlighted the need for continuous support and investment in upcoming local businesses to ensure their long-term sustainability. “We hope that indeed we can support our small businesses get off the ground – either through financial or material support or indeed through market access,” she said.
Naming it the Lion’s Den, each of the SME owners had the opportunity to present a five-minute pitch of what it is they do, and where they want to go. Having started their businesses in the informal sector all now have registered businesses and the majority have also concluded their business plans.
The products and services offered by the up-and-coming businesses range from bakery, housing containers, confectionaries, fashion design and tailoring to computer training, the supply of chicken eggs, training in customer services, production of cleaning detergents and doing building maintenance on a retainer basis.
The Lion’s Den donor event was arranged by the Team with funding from the Finnish Embassy. The audience comprised a mixed bag of representatives from the diplomatic corps, various donor agencies, NGOs, trusts and foundations, financial service providers and senior civil servants in ministries that promote business development in one form or another.
The pitching SMEs consisted of Jeno’s Kitchen; Twenty-Five Contractors Training Centre; Fojarat Investment; Namib Hospice Health Care Training Academy; Nampila S. Tailoring and Design; Kona MH Chicken Supply CC, Fluffy Marsh Mallows, Alehcks Portable Container Homes, Linda P Creations, Katutura Institute of Computer Training and Lexious.
The owners presented their financial projections with some of the entrepreneurs delivering powerful pitches. Various individuals in the audience offered advice and pledged support to the businesses financially or by providing equipment or by helping to get their products on local shelves.
Jan Coetzee, founder of Headway Consulting and chairperson of Team Namibia, said: “I believe that this project is running at the time when it is most needed. Many of you are faced with budget constraints. Can you then imagine how our small businesses must strive to make ends meet? Believe me, every little bit of support counts.”
Caption: Team Namibia Account Director Bärbel Kirchner (right) and Anna Hamukwaya (left), the Team’s Administrative Assistant, with Andreas Simon, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Mines and Energy who won a bottle of fancy scotch in the business card raffle.