SME Corner: Meet the tenderers/ entrepreneurs in the market

Home Business SME Corner: Meet the tenderers/ entrepreneurs in the market

Making sure that people always look good was initially her hobby, but with time this has led to the establishment of her own business, Mommy’s Nails Spa, situated in Hochland Park. New Era’s Tender Reporter Steven Klukowski spoke to the sole owner, Sylvi Namweya on why she believes her business will survive in this highly competitive beautician market.

New Era (NE): Having a permanent day job, is Mommy’s Nails Spa, as a part-time business, not in conflict of interest with it and how confident are you to succeed with this venture?
Sylvi Namweya (SN): I am fully capable of balancing my responsibilities in both my full- and part-time jobs in a non-compromising manner. I am furthermore also positive to succeed with my business since I built a strong client basis over time.

NE: How long has Mommy’s Nails Spa been in existence and how big is the company’s workforce? If possible please tell us about the gender composition in your workforce.
SN: I have been in business (as a registered company) since January 2015 and for now it runs as a one-man show, but will definitely create employment opportunities in the near future as demand for my services grows.

NE: Tell us about the shareholding or ownership of the business?
SN: I am the sole owner of this business.

NE: What business is your company involved in?
SN: Mommy’s Nails Spa specialises in beautician services like nail manicures, pedicures, foot massages, to mention but a few.

NE: As a relatively new company, what challenges are you experiencing when applying for standard mandatory, good standing certificates at Inland Revenue, Social Security, trade and industry, etc?
SN: I already obtained an Inland Revenue (tax)-certificate without any difficulty and am in the process of applying for the other standard mandatory, good standing certificates.

NE: What is your view regarding the frequent reporting about ‘tenderpreneurship’ and the association of the term with corruption in the tender process and what can be done to address it?
SN: Corruption is a real thorn in the flesh since it promotes unfair treatment and inequalities among tenderers. As a counteraction, tenderers should first be scrutinised in terms of issues like outstanding income tax debts, half completed previous projects whereby all funds were depleted and treatment of their manpower in terms of wages before even being considered for any tender awards.

NE: Some Namibian companies are increasingly entering into joint ventures with foreign companies.  How, in your view, can Namibians benefit out of these joint ventures in terms of employment opportunities and sharing of wealth?
SN: Namibians should be considered first when it comes to skills transfer and understudying foreign experts. Financial institutions should, however, consider assisting previously disadvantaged Namibian companies more regularly in order for them to obtain more or majority percentage of shareholding in these joint ventures over a period of time.

NE: What programmes are in place in terms of skills development and capacity building of employees at your company?
SN: Once I am in a position to employ staff I will provide in-service training to them.

NE: What is your company’s view on giving back to the community?
SN: Since this company was only established four months ago, I cannot yet plough back into the community, but this is one of the issues on my priority list for the future.

NE: What is the rate of success of your company’s output with regard to tenders being awarded to you?
SN: I am not really involved in the tendering/procurement process and currently only provide beautician services to my private clients.

NE: Do your employees belong to a pension fund and medical aid scheme, and if not in which way are they assisted in this regard?
SN: I am registered with the Social Security Commission for business purposes.

NE: How well equipped are your employees when it comes to occupational health and safety at the workplace?
SN: I do not really have any occupational health and safety measures at my workplace, as I am operating in a non-hazardous environment.

NE: Anything else you want to mention?
SN: Yes, my message for the community out there is that life is all about what you make out of it. Always be aware of opportunities in life and take it on with both hands.