Olafika gathers momentum

By Business Reporter

THE 2nd Block of the Olafika SME Development and Mentorship Programme returned to Rock Lodge in Okahandja this week in its bid to enhance business development and entrepreneurship targeting Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

In essence, over 70 entrepreneurs from different regions across the country gathered in this structured mentorship programme designed to equip SMEs with the necessary knowledge and skills needed for business success.

This follows the initial launch of Olafika in May this year.

The programme, a brainchild of businesswoman, Twapewa Kadhikwa, is sponsored by the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the Local Economic Development Agency (Leda), trains entrepreneurs with the essential knowledge and skills needed for business success.

“Olafika aims to teach small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) to understand their business needs and be successful in this economic climate, in particular those that are deep in the regions where resources are scarce.

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This second block is part of the six month mentorship program, with the last being in October before they graduate and receive certificates. During this period, participants share and discuss case studies, business scenarios, and real-life situations,” Kadhikwa said.

The programme is guided by an SMEs-Toolkit specially designed for Namibian entrepreneurs and with practical local case studies, as authored by Kadhikwa.

The NDTC has invested N$1.3 million into the programme’s success where for the next three years, more 5-SMEs per region will be integrated into Olafika each year, making them 70 entrepreneurs annually.

“Olafika is a real economic empowerment and development programme for Namibia. The high rate of unemployment in the country can be reduced drastically, if the youth venture into entrepreneurship and are supported in their business ventures, hence NDTC saw the need to create value through this vehicle,” said NDTC CEO, Brent Eiseb.

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During this week’s 2nd Block, a breakfast panel discussion on entrepreneurship and the state of the Namibian economy was held on Monday in Okahandja where KAS Director Thomas Keller ,made a presentation on the idea of a social market economy.