Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: NBIC and UNDP Bring Northern Entrepreneurs Together

For the first time ever, the Namibia Business Innovation Centre and the United Nations Development Program will embark on a joint outreach programme to visit Otjiwarongo, Opuwo, Nkurenkuru and Ongwediva.

According to the Namibia Business Innovation Centre Public Relations and Marketing Officer, Nesongano Mufaro the idea of this initiative is first to pilot the exchange platform in five regions with the hope that the rest of the country will see how beneficial this is and also establish similar platforms. "The focus of these visits is to start regional versions of the popular Windhoek-based Entrepreneurs Circle."

Mufaro told the Economist that these parts of the country are "mostly left out and one can never survive in isolation" adding "when one is in business, networking and exchange of ideas are paramount to survival, to grow and self sustaining."

He said that Windhoek entrepreneurs already benefit from this kind of platform where they receive input presentations from experts on an array of everyday business issues. "This joint outreach programme with the United Nations Development Program is only the beginning of our plans to make our services not only more accessible to Windhoek entrepreneurs but also to all businessmen and women across the country."

The Entrepreneurs Circle encourages entrepreneurs and innovators to network by sharing experiences, exchanging ideas and discussing challenges. It also works as a catalyst to motivate those with an entrepreneurial spirit to start their own business. Different experts present a variety of topics that future business owners need more information on. "By sharing experiences and tips, entrepreneurs can provide a kind of peer support system, from which each can benefit and run their businesses successfully."

"For example, a particular business owner might be struggling to resolve problems, but, others in the Entrepreneurs Circle might have gone through the same troubles and know exactly what to do. So the purpose of the programme is to create a culture of sharing and peer support for stronger and successful SMEs.

The Entrepreneurs Circle has been well received in Windhoek with entrepreneurs meeting every two weeks at lunchtime with the aim of learning from various experts.

Dagmar Honsbein, Director of the Namibia Business Innovation Centre invited all entrepreneurs and innovators to come and be inspired, motivated and collaborate with like-minded people. "These visits are for individuals that want to make a difference in order to realise Namibia's vision. If there are specific entrepreneurial challenges, members of the public are welcome to get mentorship from the experts that will be present."

The outreach programme will begin in Otiwarongo, 24 September, Opuwo, 25 September, Ongwediva, 25 September with the last at Nkurenkuru on 26 September.

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