The Namibia Entrepreneurs, an ultimate match-making service for Namibian Entrepreneurs on Wednesday introduced a new website (NamibiaEntrepreneurs.com) that is going to be officially launched on the 29 and 30th of June in Windhoek to help mobilize upcoming Entrepreneurs.
Held under the theme Energizing Namibia Entrepreneurs, the organisers said they have seen the difficulties faced by startup entrepreneurs as well as issues preventing entrepreneurs from starting their businesses. The website (NamibiaEntrepreneur.com) is meant to introduce entrepreneurs to new entrepreneurship start-up ideas.
Francois Brand, FLI Secretariat Manager said many young entrepreneurs fail to make the grade as a result of challenges they face, but those that do succeed are those who face the obstacle they encounter with determination and resolve. The Start-up Festival planned for June, specifically for young and upcoming Entrepreneurs is to create a platform that will engage them on how to go about their business.
“These days SME”s have become synonymous with copy and paste, so what we are trying to do is to host a festival that will inspite, celebrate and grow stars with entrepreneurial mindsets. We want to celebrate that start up, that entrepreneurial greenshot idea which is new. Therefore this year’s theme for the Namibia Start up festival will be Market Orientation meant to bring Suppliers and their Buyers together through the same vision,” said Brand.
Brand said they want to move away from fragmentation, so “ we worked to get things done.” Focused on articulating the challenges start-ups face, the outcomes of the festival will be reported on to identify the struggles faced by businesses to run successfully in Namibia.
Bafana Kubheka, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Wadhwani Foundation said the foundation is trying to change the world by focusing on emerging markets and by tackling unemployment and youth empowerment. Focused on economies such as Namibia and South Africa which are highly inequal, Kubheka reminded entrepreneurs that they must find systematic solutions in overcoming the challenge of unemployment specifically among the youth.
“We work through networks such as the National Entrepreneurship Network that is inspiring youth with ways to come up with their businesses. So you go to university with the aim of starting a business and not necessarily to finish a degree and then looking for a job,” said Kubheka. For young people the challenges are multiplied namely a lack of experience, inadequate financial resources and lack of confidence.
The Foundation have several initiatives such as working together with Universities to teach them the actual act of doing entrepreneurship and doing a lot of activities to enable them to experience the world of the entrepreneur.
Working with University students is a very good engagement because at University is where minds are young and things can be implemented easily.
“We venture with entities and businesses that can create 40-50 jobs onward, and high networking individuals who are willing to loose N$50 000 and N$100 000 and are not afraid they lose it, people with big money actually,” said Kubheka.
They network with 400+ networks and Investors through learning, practicing, standing up and growing, looking of specific difficulties that they are facing and try and tackle them. In addition, Wadhwani Foundation also work with countries like East Africa, India and North America resulting in a network of 700+ companies a year and 100 000 students.
Professor Grafton Whyte, Director of the Namibia Business School at the University of Namibia who presented information on the upcoming symposium, said the website will provide access to critical information.
“We want to have all service providers on the website to help entrepreneurs to get it better and energize, it will also try and bring entrepreneurs together on the platform so they can communicate and meeting space, for people to meet and do business, for entrepreneurs to get more information because they go through stages and will need different solutions ” Whyte explained.
“We are so happy about the link between the Wadhwani Foundation and the Namibia Business School,” said Whyte.