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Northern SME Expo approaches

Following calls from entrepreneurs in the northern towns for a market access opportunity to showcase goods and services, a Northern Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Expo will take place at the Multi-purpose Youth Centre in Oshakati on 25 and 26 November.
SMEs from towns in the northern regions like Oshakati, Ongwediva, Ondangwa and from other smaller urban centres will be joined by small firms from Windhoek and elsewhere in the country.
Displaying their wares and introducing services on offer to the community, small firms will have the opportunity to strike deals, make new business contacts and secure new markets. Claudine Mouton of SMEs Compete, the event organizer said: “Market access events organized around Namibia don’t compete with, but rather compliment the traditional shows like the Ongwediva Trade Fair or the Windhoek Show. It serves to introduce expositions as a marketing tool to SMEs. Once they have discovered the value of using such a business growth tool we encourage them to book stands at the larger shows.” Goods on display at the 2011 Northern SME Expo will include adult and children garments, footwear, leather ware, beauty products, jewellery and knitwear. Services to be showcased include computer cleaning and catering, computer software, plumbing and carpentry. “Exhibitors will have a chance to promote their business in general and to establish business linkages with potential customers from Oshakati and other geographical regions of Namibia, ”said Danny Meyer.
He added: “The firm has pulled out all stops to make the 2011 Northern SMEs Expo a success. Stand bookings can be made through any of SMEs Compete’s branches located in Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay, Windhoek and Ongwediva. For the first time in Oshakati, seasoned entrepreneurs will share accumulated experiences and business secrets with novice entrepreneurs, during an entrepreneur’s round table.” The firm now routinely incorporates dialogue sessions between established entrepreneurs and newcomers to business as a side event at SME Expos.
In the meantime, Mouton added that SMEs Compete is planning 11 expositions that showcase SMEs in 2012, but the number might grow to 14.
SMEs Compete is a social entrepreneurship firm that receives most of its funding from Namibia’s private sector, who use it as a conduit to compliment government’s enterprise and entrepreneurial development initiatives.

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