Walvis youth host business networking workshop
SMALL business owners, lenders, and technical assistance providers recently attended a networking event at Walvis Bay aimed at connecting businesses.
The event was organised by Pius Samuel, a Walvis Bay youth and the founder of the Grow Your Network Namibia organisation.
“Funding remains one of the major challenges start-ups and small businesses face. The challenge is that they fail to present fundable business models when they apply for funding.
“I have thus invited representatives from financial institutions to advise entrepreneurs on their funding criteria and models. The devastating effects of Covid-19 have resulted in businesses struggling to recover due to a lack of funds and reduced clientele.
“The event addressed these issues simultaneously, as networking offers businesses an opportunity to meet other business people and encourage trade among each other,” Samuel said on Friday.
Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes, who officiated at the event, urged businesses to grab all opportunities to grow their businesses to beat the after-effects of Covid-19 on their businesses.
“The past few years, aided by the pandemic, have been very difficult for many businesses. Businesses faced weak sales, diminished asset values, elevated uncertainty, and tight credit market conditions.
“Many business owners had to lay off employees or stop hiring. Many potential entrepreneurs with plans to start new businesses had to put those plans on hold.
“For many people, starting a small business is an opportunity to follow their dream, but it could also be an important option for people confronting economic challenges in their lives, such as insufficient retirement savings.
“Business and networking events such as this one are the link to build connections, create opportunities and business partnerships for entrepreneurs. They can help business owners reach possible future clients and expand their business,” he said.
Business experts, including the founder of the Hafeni Afrika Tourism group, Heinrich Hafeni, the Development Bank of Namibia’s coastal regional manager, Simeon Kahona, and First National Bank’s client portfolio manager, Ernst Grothkopf, shared advice on business issues and identified promising approaches to addressing needs.
Those who attended the event said they were motivated.
“The workshop was a success and fruitful because it motivated me as a young person to work harder. It sharpened my focus on my goals and encouraged me to connect more with people to help me grow my business. I am looking forward to more networking events,” Peter Shumba said.
Nguundja Meroro-Mupurua said: “It was indeed an amazing, eye-opening networking event, especially for the youth and anyone trying to pursue entrepreneurship at Walvis.
“As an entrepreneur myself, the knowledge I gained was of great benefit. I would like to thank the organisers and speakers, and hope to see a similar event in the near future.”
Other workshops are scheduled to be held at Windhoek and Ongwediva soon.