New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: New Website to Address Market Shortcomings

Windhoek — A new website called eBusiness Namibia (www.ebusinessnamibia.com) was launched a week ago by Namibian business personality, Sidney Martin, at the Polytechnic Hotel School.

The website is the brainchild of Josephine Shikongo and Elizabeth Hamupembe, who wanted to address the issue of getting access to reliable services in the comfort of your own home or at your convenience. "We researched what is currently available on the Namibian market and realised that most available options are purely listing providers themselves without the knowledge of the company being listed, hence most listings do not have email addresses, which are crucial in an online interactive platform if providers are to meet with clients. Therefore we do not believe we are in competition with what is available on the market at the moment, because we are offering something that is new and many other services which are not currently on the market," said Shikongo.

She explained that the main focus of the website is to enable Namibian businesses to register themselves on the site. The businesses actually complete all the relevant information that they want to be visible to clients. According to Shikongo this course of action makes businesses aware of the value they get out of the listing. "If you list someone without their consent, they will not even be aware they are listed, and would not worry about what value they get out the listing. Once the business has listed itself, it then becomes available to the site visitors who have an option to send an inquiry to one specific business, or to a category of businesses requesting services or goods," Shikongo explained.

Once a business receives an enquiry it responds to the client through the website, and the client then has options to select from. Basically it is like taking the manual process of looking for quotations and placing it online. In addition, website offers many other services that are not available on the market at the moment, such as the business advice section; an invest in Namibia platform; start-up ideas for upcoming entrepreneurs; a businesses and franchises for sale section; business plan referrals, as well as an access to funding link.

"We will keep monitoring the site usage and see which areas people are utilizing most and we will make sure it stays tops and to improve on less utilized sections we will research the market for new updates to remain relevant. We will also try to use different feedback methods to find out what people would like to see and what they want improved. We will use our social media accounts for feedback too," Shikongo further said.

Both Shikongo and Hamupembe are directly involved in updating the website content. "However we also have a technical person who ensures the background is taken care of. As the business grows, we might consider having someone updating the site and we just play a directing role," noted Shikongo. The new website charges a minimal registration fee to businesses, which is similar to what a business would pay to get listed in the telephone directory and yellow pages.

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