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Pitching for Resilience continues to assist SMEs

2021-08-10  Staff Reporter

Pitching for Resilience continues to assist SMEs

Germany continues its support to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the Namibian economy in cooperation with Namibia’s Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT). In this regard, the Pitching for Resilience (P4Res) Grant Programme is being implemented through GIZ Namibia’s Promotion of Business Advisory and Economic Transformation Services (ProBATS) and the Association for Entrepreneurial Development (AED). 

The P4Res programme is a continuation from the Pitching for Recovery (P4R) programme executed in 2020, during which 192 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from all 14 regions of the country received grants to recover their businesses from the aftermath of the pandemic.

The objective of the P4Res Grant Programme is to help SMEs maintain business viability, unlock new perspectives, and enable entrepreneurs to adapt in the constantly changing environment following the economic disruption and downturn caused by Covid-19. This is achieved through providing business recovery and resilience grants which provides SMEs with relief and a lifeline for sustainability in the long run. 

The entrepreneurship journey is full of challenges that range from operating on a month-to-month basis with limited funds, inability to build cash reserves, reduced customer base, etc. The pandemic forced entrepreneurs to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding employees, assets, and overall business sustainability. The P4Res programme helps SMEs identify new product lines and guides on the introduction of value-added services in the firm’s offering, as a business survival and repositioning strategy by way of diversification. The focus is on existing businesses as there are numerous programmes that support start-ups and early-stage enterprises, but limited help is available for existing businesses. 

The layout of the three day programme includes presentations of diagnosed business problems, motivation for grant application as well as training by AED, on exploring business diversification strategies and introductions of new lines, followed by a pitching event. 

The amounts granted to an SME and the number of grants allocated per town are not lower than N$6 000 or exceeding N$60 000. 

Grantee Theuhill Veldtschoen, owner of Veldschoen Waste Management Solutions stated, “Through the P4Res, I learned how to diagnose a problem and identify challenges as well as diversification of income revenues and business growth strategies.” Veldtschoen continued, “Waste management workers are contributing to the functioning of our society through taking to the streets daily to ensure that our waste is collected, sorted and recycled. The grant I received will help us pay the waste pickers, buy material for waste sorting as well as run the ‘Recycle from Home & get a Reward’ campaign.”

The trade ministry emphasised that the P4Res is not a contest but a programme that provides business rescue and recovery support. Start-ups are not eligible, but companies that have been operating for 36 months or longer can participate. A fee of N$100 is required for each application.

2021-08-10  Staff Reporter

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