The Namibian private sector, specifically small medium enterprises (SME), is eligible to receive targeted support to cushion the economic impact on business losses by pitching for recovery grant scheme through the German development agency, GIZ. This is according to the junior technical advisor of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Sharon Zaaruka, who noted that Germany continues support to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the Namibian economy in cooperation with Namibia’s Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade and the Ministry of Finance.
“The funds are being administered through the pitching for recovery grant scheme programme with SME Compete, which has commenced on the 29 September to 20 December 2020,” stated Zaaruka.
The pitching for recovery scheme is supported to stabilise micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in all 14 regions which have suffered severe losses due to a sharp drop in demand, after the Covid-19 state-of-emergency measures. Selected businesses will be coached and/or mentored in their respective regions.
According to Zaaruka the grant’s intentions are to provide support for business survival during economic downturn, demonstrate business viability and sustainability and reflect growth potential in terms of income and job creation.
Organised events across all 14 regions in Namibia will be comprised of three gs sessions and a pitching competition. Namibian businesses will be pitching their ideas on how to recover their businesses to a jury. “The selected winners will subsequently receive coaching and financial assistance on how to sustainably execute their recovery-plan,” Zaaruka explained.
In total, 27 participants will be trained per region. From these 27 participants, only 18 are invited to pitch and from these 18 SMEs, nine will receive a financial grant to be managed and paid out to their suppliers by the implementing consultant. She said the grant will not be in cash, but as payment to suppliers, example for the procurement of material goods, machines and equipment.
The programme has already been completed in Omaheke, Erongo and Kavango East regions. According to Chris McClune, owner of McClune’s Shuttle Service, the Erongo region’s first prize winner, the empowering program came at the time as Covid-19 had devasting effects on a lot of companies.
“A few days with this program gave me a whole new perspective on what went wrong in my business and how to learn from the negatives and do better than before,” McClune stated.
Martha Johannes, owner of M&J Training Academy and second prizewinner in the Omaheke region, shared the same sentiments stating “the training and training tools were very helpful as it made me analyse the root of my business problems and how to overcome them. Photo: GIZ