Networking and seeking mentorship play vital roles in fostering innovation among business owners, according to Jeremia Matheus, a young entrepreneur in the e-commerce sector and a Bachelor of Communications student at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
He recently shared insights with Youth Corner on time management, overcoming challenges and offering advice to aspiring young entrepreneurs looking to venture into the market.
Matheus believes that the ever-growing e-commerce market and the substantial potential this market offers are strong motivators for his business, JP Store, which he founded in 2021.
His statements hold water, considering statistics from the Statista Market Forecast that the Namibian e-commerce sector has generated N$264 million in revenue, with a projected growth of 14% by 2027.
Asked about his inspiration to start JP Store, he said: “Starting my online business was primarily driven by my passion for fashion and the desire to create a brand that resonates with not only women but also men”.
JP Store is an online clothing and accessories retailer, accessible at JPStore21 and on Instagram under the handle jp_store.
Reflecting on the challenges he encountered at the outset of his entrepreneurial journey, Matheus urged aspiring entrepreneurs to avoid the mistakes he made.
“When I first started, I underestimated the importance of robust inventory management and supply chain
logistics,” noting that this oversight resulted in stockouts and order fulfilment delays
that negatively impacted customer satisfaction.
To address these challenges, Matheus made the strategic decision to employ his two sisters and establish clear academic and business objectives, enabling him to have a clearer concept of deadlines he needs to meet and what he needs to add to the top of his list when completing his work, as he aims to one day complete his master’s degree in communication.
The 22-year-old acknowledged
that his journey has contributed immensely to his self-sufficiency, saying, “It has allowed me to generate income independently and develop valuable skills related to my resilience and adaptability”.
His plan for his business is to open a physical shop, where he could hire a marketing team, cashiers, delivery men and women, management and a sales department for the store,
thus creating employment opportunities.
Matheus offered further valuable advice to start-ups: “Develop a solid plan and budget, as it will help you make informed decisions related to your finances. Invest in a professional website and
digital marketing skills.
“Prioritise customer service and a positive customer experience. Lastly, be open to change; the market is constantly evolving – and successful entrepreneurs are those who can adapt their strategies to new challenges”.