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Olafika to mentor local entrepreneurs via virtual classes

Olafika to mentor local entrepreneurs via virtual classes

The Olafika SME Development and Mentorship 2020 Programme seeks to mentor 150 local entrepreneurs over a 10- month period, through a virtual class focused on urgent issues businesses are facing, particularly as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.

After a successful 2019 where 77 SMEs were mentored and received Level 4 entrepreneurship training, the programme has this year doubled the number of beneficiaries. Applications opened on 08 June, closing on 19 June.

The mentorship will begin this July and this year’s focus is aimed at guiding Namibian entrepreneurs through their current business challenges. Among the key business modules entrepreneurs will receive mentoring support on strategy, operations, commercial and financial analysis, change management, people management, product review and business development.

The call is open to SMEs operating across Namibia in all sectors across the economy, including: retail, hospitality, food & drink, media & audio-visual, manufacturing, services, construction, agriculture and many more. Entrepreneurs will be matched with one of 75 expert industry mentors.

Besides the virtual classes offered by industry experts, a 10-month mentorship will also commence after a mentee has been successfully matched with a mentor where the mentor and mentee are encouraged to meet at least 3 times as mutually agreed.

“The government attaches great importance to facilitating the development of SMEs and helping them enhance competitiveness. This year our criteria remains the same but the application process is a bit flexible, as we have to adapt to the new norm. Applicants can submit their company registration, and profile via Whatsapp, and if they meet the criteria, they stand a chance to be selected,” said Twapewa Kadhikwa, the Director of Twapewa Kadhikwa Institute of Entrepreneurial Development, and implementing partner of Olafika.

Commenting on the remodeled 2020 version of Olafika, NDTC Chief Executive Officer Brent
Eiseb said the initiative was designed, in consultation with Namibian businesses, to meet the needs of SMEs at this challenging time.

“With so much business uncertainty at the moment, it is positive that NDTC has partnered to leverage our connections with over 100 mentors. Businesses like ours play a key role both in helping society get through an economic crisis and in creating innovations that shape society after a crisis,” Eiseb said.

Olafika encourage SMEs to sign up through our website (www.olafika.com.na) or social media platforms and avail of this opportunity to seek sound advice and to help navigate their immediate business challenges.


Caption: Partners In SME Development during one of the Olafika SME Development & Mentorship Programme fellowships in 2019.


 

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About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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