Namibia: Olafika Continues to Nurture Entrepreneurs

Established in 2019, the Olafika SME Development and Mentorship programme organisation continues to be a catalyst for change in the lives of emerging entrepreneurs.

The programme recently graduated 137 entrepreneurs and SMEs from all regions in Namibia.

This group of graduates was the intake of 2020 when the programme migrated to an online platform because of the outbreak of Covid-19.

Olafika, translated from Oshiwambo, means 'The time is now', and it is a structured mentorship programme designed to equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills needed for business success.

Over a 10-month period, the graduates were trained through a curriculum, focused on strategy, operations, commercial analysis, change management, people management, product review and business development.

Speaking at the Olafika Class of 2020 virtual graduation, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung resident representative Natalie Rossman said actions during the crisis will shape businesses in the long run.

"Every crisis creates opportunities for businesses to become more innovative. Facing external pressures, some business leaders are stepping out of their routines and comfort zones to become creative problem solvers. Along the way, they rediscover their entrepreneurial spirit. At Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, it is clear the post-pandemic future will be different. What's happening during the Covid-19 crisis will have a lasting impact on our society but current signs of entrepreneurial initiative and goodwill give us some cause for optimism in Namibia," she added.

The programme has also begun with the recruitment of the 2021 cohort.

The 2021 approach will focus on addressing urgent issues faced by small businesses, particularly because of Covid-19 through a back-to-basics approach integrating digital technology, a stronger online presence and block classes for direct contact.

The 2021 intake of 50 individuals will start on 27 May.

Applications opened on 30 April 2021.

Application forms should be submitted to the local economic development officers in the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development in all the regions or via the Olafika Programme Administration on admin@twapewa.com.na.

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