Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the driving force behind socio-economic development, and Namibia remains committed to nurturing their growth. Acknowledging the vital role SMEs play in job creation, poverty alleviation and wealth generation, government has implemented an array of programmes, ranging from financial support to equipment aid and specialised training to bolster this essential sector of the economy.
“In line with its mission to foster sustainable economic growth, the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has introduced a groundbreaking initiative, the National Mentoring and Coaching Programme (NMCP). Launched in July of this year, the NMCP is meticulously crafted to equip SMEs with crucial entrepreneurial skills, empowering them to enhance their competitiveness and seize available resources for expansion,” the DBN stated yesterday.
The bank noted that through this initiative, SMEs not only fulfil their roles in the economy but also catalyse overall economic growth.
The maiden phase of the NMCP boasts participation from 130 SMEs, hailing from every corner of the nation. Each of these SMEs benefits from the mentorship and guidance provided by 13 seasoned service providers.
A standout feature of this programme is its unwavering emphasis on practical, hands-on coaching and mentoring, delivered over six months. The comprehensive curriculum delves into fundamental business management skills, encompassing financial management, marketing strategies, procurement processes, efficient business organisation, tendering procedures and adept business plan preparation.
A shining illustration of the NMCP in action is a collective of micro-businesses, primarily comprising disadvantaged entrepreneurs from Katutura in Windhoek.
In a remarkable demonstration of unity, these businesses have united to showcase their diverse products and services at the Windhoek Show, hosted at the Galphini Hall.
What sets this exhibition apart is the joint effort of nine distinct businesses, spanning various sectors, including arts and crafts, leather products, bags/knapsacks, clothing, business consultancy, photography, graphic design, refrigeration/air-conditioning and first aid training.
The collaborative group is extending special offers during the Windhoek Show, which include unveiling brand-new products exclusively developed for the Windhoek Show, offering custom embroidery services for products purchased elsewhere, and extending a 10% price reduction on all purchases and orders made during the show.
These magic nine businesses serve as living proof of the transformative potential of the NMCP, exemplifying their remarkable journey towards success.
Prof. Dr R. Trede from Development Consultancy for Southern Africa (DECOSA), who assumes the role of head mentor for this enterprising group, expressed his astonishment at their unwavering dedication.
With decades of experience in SME promotion, he attests that he has never witnessed participants as motivated as these entrepreneurs, who diligently work day and night to secure success at the Windhoek Show.
Furthermore, these businesses have embraced the spirit of networking, actively sharing experiences and offering support to one another as exemplified by the collaborative efforts of the photographer and designer, who prepared promotional materials for all other businesses.
The NMCP stands as a testament to Namibia’s unwavering commitment to nurturing a thriving SME sector and fostering economic growth. By equipping SMEs with practical skills and providing a platform for collaboration, this programme is poised to leave an indelible mark on the country’s economic landscape.
For those seeking further information or wishing to explore the financial products offered by the Development Bank of Namibia, the Mentoring and Coaching unit is at the Windhoek showground to assist.