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Keetmanshoop startups look to diversify

2021-09-24  Steven Klukowski

Keetmanshoop startups look to diversify
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KEETMANSHOOP - After investing more than N$100 000 in her tuck shop business, Maria Katjito now wants to diversify into setting up a fully-fledged convenience shop for residents of Iileni, an informal settlement in Keetmanshoop.

She was one of the participants presenting her business proposal during a StartUp Namibia project launched at the town. 

“After quitting my job and paying off my mortgage bond, I decided to invest the rest of my exit benefits, venturing into entrepreneurship,” she noted. 

Katjito said after seeing the need for providing essential services, apart from the basic household consumables like bread and milk, and also the fact that there is not yet a convenience shop in the area, she now plans to, through funding, start such a project. 

“I already started providing prepaid vendor services like water, electricity, DStv and MTC, but now want to expand into other commodities like speed dial banking services as well as setting up franchises like Lucky Seven or Multisave,” she enthused. 

The entrepreneur added that after realising that residents of Iileni need to travel to town to access fresh produce like meat, chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables, she now plans to also provide such consumables. 

“I also did an impact study for the past months being in business, and concluded that there is efficient buying power within the community, which motivates me to expand my business accordingly,” she emphasised. 

The business owner further explained to the panel of judges determining a participant’s qualification to funding that she, as a former human resources officer and also having attended a cost accounting course, won’t have big challenges in terms of marketing and budgeting. 

“I will be able to persuade my target market more easily to buy in on my business idea through persuasion, social media, advertisements and flyers whilst I will remain within my budgetary limits but also make a profit,” she reasoned. 

Katjito said in her expenditure breakdown that she will need an estimated amount of N$120 000 for salaries, stock, vending machines, point of sale swipe machines and freezer equipment.

“I also invested in the catering and fast food business, and want to further expand on it through selling other consumable products apart from ‘slap chips’ and vetkoek”, she added. 

Katjito said through proper planning, she can have an annual turnover of N360 000.

Since she is currently renting a building in the informal area, it is also her dream to acquire land and build her own shop in future.” If my business becomes profitable and can expand, it is my intention to employ six people,” she observed.

According to Anastacia Ray of Impact Tank, which is implementing the MatchMe2Funding initiative, the project is an intervention and response to the funding challenges that startups are facing in the country. 

Ray said the initiative is implemented by Impact Tank in partnership with StartUp Namibia, and financially supported by the GIZ, with Nedbank as their exclusive banking partner.

She added that they firmly believe that startups contribute to economic growth by spurring innovation and creating a competitive business environment, as well as driving job creation and positively impacting overall economic productivity.

The programme will engage and train 200 startups in 10 selected towns from five geographical areas. Participants must have an innovative business concept and ideas for their startup.

- sklukowski@nepc.com.na


2021-09-24  Steven Klukowski

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