Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila cautioned loan recipients to not squander the money received, and urged them to use the funds optimally to build their enterprises and the economy.
She was saying this at the handover of loans worth N$8 million to 28 rural youth enterprises which were advanced by the Development Bank of Namibia.
The number represents two enterprises from all the regions in the country.
“Do not rush to go and buy a new car when your company makes a profit. I don’t want to hear fights because of profits, as that’s exactly what happens – people come and ask for opportunities, present themselves as a united team, but the moment the first paycheck comes in, you become enemies,” she lashed out.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila added the opportunity should not be seen as a profit-making one but as a chance to grow the economy and play a historical role that encourages teamwork for the betterment of the whole community.
She said: “I want new entrepreneurs to prepare and stay the course; nurture your business so that it becomes successful – do not aim for a quick profit. We have placed the faith in young Namibians to take the country to the destination that we feel it needs to go”.
The 28 selected rural youth enterprises specialise in leatherworks, tailoring, cleaning detergents manufacturing, retail and bakery, internet café (ICT), printing, brick making, carpentry and joinery, event management, welding and fabrication, auto mechanics and supplying of building materials.
Additionally, she called on government institutions as the main users of these products and services to use them religiously and not source elsewhere.
“Sometimes, government institutions say there are no local producers, so once these enterprises can meet quality standards, please report those ministries (to me), which are not sourcing from you, especially if you know where they are sourcing,” Kuugogelwa-Amadhila told the enterprise owners.
She stated government initiated national interventions and adopted major action-oriented activities, which are being implemented for the development of women and the youth.
She said: “Through the establishment and operationalisation of the youth enterprises, the aim is also to stimulate the culture and spirit of entrepreneurship and job creation amongst Namibian youth, and, in turn, develop a sustainable youth entrepreneurship programme mode”.
As a means of addressing the challenge of youth unemployment in the country, the line ministry launched an initiative to register close corporations in rural constituencies across Namibia, with the aim of at least employing 10 youths in each enterprise.
The ministry then approached the DBN to collaborate.
“The bank’s initial involvement consisted of business management training for 407 young people from the 121 rural youth enterprises, an exercise that involved technical support to the tune of N$1.2 million. This exercise also involved helping the youth identify potential business ideas in their constituencies and developing business plans for such,” shared DBN’s head of SME finance Robert Eiman.
He added: “Subsequently, the bank has made available to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service a soft loan of N$8 million to finance the start-up of 28 of these enterprises, who are the beneficiaries of today’s proceedings”.
He further said the programme is expected to be a seed for the future of Namibia’s economy, where the youth enterprise will be the pool from which it draws its future prosperity and employment creation. “The bank believes that rural enterprise is critical to the future of Namibian prosperity and food security. The fact that the beneficiaries are from rural constituencies will add to the attainment of development impact in rural areas,” said Eiman. - firstname.lastname@example.org