Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Junior Achievement Loan Lifts Woman Up

"Entrepreneurship is more than just about the founding of businesses. A positive lifestyle that could be very beneficial to young Namibians who subscribe to it, because of all the values and habits accompanies it. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle of hard work and accountability, a lifestyle of high self-esteem and the belief of the entrepreneur's value for the nation. However, most importantly, entrepreneurship is a lifestyle of putting one's fears and doubts aside and taking that first step - getting started.

Johanna Cloete, the Country Director for Junior Achievement Namibia expressed these sentiments when she congratulated a beneficiary, Diina Shivolo, for her perseverance in establishing her own small business. Shivolo received a loan from Junior Achievement as seed capital. This loan has been repaid in the meantime.

Cloete continued: "Rome was not built in a day, so the saying goes, but it certainly would never have been built were the first brick never laid. In the same light, transforming Namibia into a developed nation will not be easy, but it certainly will never happen until the youth adopts a spirit of "getting started". Entrepreneurship education is perhaps the most powerful tool to instil such a spirit in young people. The potential and unlimited rewards from embarking on the entrepreneurial journey can encourage the youth to drop old, negative and unproductive habits for new and better ones. Invest in entrepreneurship education, and help the youth get started towards a brighter future.

The Namibia Youth Credit Scheme in partnership with Junior Achievement Namibia assists young unemployed people to start up small businesses. The main objective of the programme is to empower young people. Beneficiaries attend a basic business-training workshop for one week followed by receiving a loan of N$2,000 as startup capital.

Me Diina Shivolo a 34 year old lady from Keetmanshoop received the training and the N$2,000 loan, which changed her life dramatically. The basic business skills and the loan enabled her to start her business at the Keetmanshoop Town Council stalls making coffins and shelves for the residents. Her cabinet making business has empowered her to tender to supply the cabinets for the new clinic in Keetmanshoop. Proudly she showed her handy work to the Country Director of JA Namibia and assistants. She applied to the Ministry of Trade and Industry's Equipment for more equipment amounting to N$200,000. The application was approved and she will soon extend her service. "We are so proud of her courage to enter a man's world by getting skills from the Vocational Training Centre in Rundu. She has one child and employs two people, one to assist with the cabinet making, and one to clean up the work place. She takes care of herself, her son, two employees and other extended family. We say hoorah to Diina for her achievements" said Cloete.

Diina completed matric at Onesi Secondary School in the Omusati Region.

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