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Mutual empowers women in business

Old Mutual Micro Business graduate Beatrix Ndjao (front left) with Veronica de Klerk, Director: Women’s Action for Development, Patricia Olivier, HR Executive: Old Mutual, and Margaret Bennet , Director: Centre for Enterprise Development at the Polytechnic. In the back row are graduates Ndeyapo David, Melanie Kambonde, Lisiaan Gauases, Lea Daniel, Helena Shanika, and Miina Antonio. (Photograph by Hilmah Hashange)

Old Mutual Micro Business graduate Beatrix Ndjao (front left) with Veronica de Klerk, Director: Women’s Action for Development, Patricia Olivier, HR Executive: Old Mutual, and Margaret Bennet , Director: Centre for Enterprise Development at the Polytechnic. In the back row are graduates Ndeyapo David, Melanie Kambonde, Lisiaan Gauases, Lea Daniel, Helena Shanika, and Miina Antonio. (Photograph by Hilmah Hashange)

A new group of small businesswomen recently completed the training in micro-business development sponsored by Old Mutual and facilitated by the Centre for Enterprise Development at the Polytechnic, and by Women’s Action for Development. This week the group of entrepreneurs received their certificates at a special graduation ceremony.
Women’s Action for Development director, Veronica de Klerk told the graduates that poverty has many facets impacting every aspect of poor people’s lives.
Congratulating the successful graduandi, de Klerk said the Old Mutual Women’s Micro Business Project provides an opportunity for women who hail from marginalized backgrounds to “straighten their backs, look poverty straight in the eye and say to that enemy: From this day onward, I am taking you on!”
She said the programme seeks to help small entrepreneurs to work their way out of poverty and to gain increased control over their lives. This followed by other improvements like better caring for families, access to health services, and finally, growing self-esteem, pride and dignity.
Since Old Mutual started the Micro Business Project in 2010, 28 women have benefited from this training which also gave them access to finance. De Klerk said “I am thrilled that these women have already qualified for interest-free loans, totalling N$20,000 each,which are repayable over a period of 5 years, with the first year being a grace year.”
Referring to the power of micro business she said she was surprised to learn that many Kapana Memes are so successful that they can afford to send their children to high school, and even to university.

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