KEETMANSHOOP - Keetmanshoop municipal councillor Hansie Esterhuyse says baby steps are needed in order for youth entrepreneurs to grow their businesses into larger corporations.
Speaking at the official opening of the //Kharas Youth Entrepreneurship Development Program (KYEDP) at Keetmanshoop on Monday, Esterhuyse said the best way to grow a business is to do it step by step, noting that little growth will eventually lead to big business.
“Start small and do it to perfection and take little steps to get better and better,” he said.
He further said as business people it is important to be strong and be ready to come up with solutions, saying as entrepreneurs they should be able to see opportunities where others see problems, while he urged the young business owners to not be afraid of failure, but rather embrace it, learn from it and move forward.
“In life as an entrepreneur there are many things that can go wrong, but it is not about failing, it is how you get up from that failure that matters, and my motto is I do not see a problem, only solutions, every problem has a solution and if there is no solution then it is not a problem,” he said.
A business person himself, Esterhuyse outlined the importance of being financially disciplined, saying careful and smart use of funds is important to the success of any business.
Speaking at the same event, Anglo American Namibia Foundation coordinator Richard Cook said he is excited the foundation could sponsor such an innovative programme which targets youth entrepreneurs, saying as a foundation which aims to uplift the lives of Namibian people, empowering young business people is the way to go.
He added that young people sometimes struggle to get the necessary funding in order to start up or upscale their businesses as financial institutions do not give them a chance as they think their businesses will fail, and it therefore important that such a programme is there to support entrepreneurs.
“It is not true, if you give them the right guidance, the right training and mentorship, they will succeed,” he said of young entrepreneurs.
Cook is hopeful the programme will grow from strength to strength, adding that it is up to the people behind the programme and those being trained to ensure that the results from the workshop speak for themselves, and that the foundation will not hesitate to pump in more money if positive results are there to see.
“I am confident that after this year, it will be very successful and if it is successful, we will not have any excuse not to support this programme again. Let’s go out there and show everyone what you are capable of, show them how successful this is,” he said.
The five-day training will be followed by a pitch competition, where winners in the start-up and upscaling categories will each get a chance to win N$15 000 each, including a 12-month business mentorship.