Small firms shine with enthusiasm

What is less obvious in a town that has experienced low economic growth is that a vibrant small business sector does indeed exist in the town.

Fifteen of them enthusiastically participated in a workshop jointly organised by the town’s municipality and local consultancy firm, SMEs Compete, in July.

The Selling, Customer Care and Shop Display workshop presented by one of the directors of SMEs Compete, Collin Gaochab, attracted small firms from business sectors ranging from catering, retailing, coffin manufacturing, garment production, light engineering, gas distribution and de-bushing services, among others.

The workshop was officially opened by the deputy Mayor of Grootfontein, Paulus Angula.

In his opening remarks Angula highlighted the important role that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play in the local economic development (LED) of towns like Grootfontein.

He said that the town council is working towards devising strategies to assist this important sector grow and create employment.

“Grootfontein is the gateway to the Caprivi and is an ideal overnight stop for people traveling to the eastern part of Namibia'”, said the municipal official responsible for facilitating the workshop, Rudolf Ugelvi, adding, “It is important to capitalise on the strategic location of the town and to incorporate small firms in local economic activity”.

It was the first time for most participants to benefit from such a business capacity building activity.

They learnt new skills and tactics related to selling, customer care and shop display.

Participants indicated that they and others in the town should not be marginalised.

They urged SMEs Compete to run more training programmes in the town as a way to assist aspiring entrepreneurs enter business, singling out the highly acclaimed So you want to be in business? workshop recently developed and launched by the consultancy firm.

“There really is a lot to do and there exists a great need to help these local entrepreneurs acquire new skills and shown ways to grow their businesses” remarked Ugelvi at the closing of the workshop.

SMEs Compete Namibia works closely with government ministries like Trade and Industry and business support organizations including the NCCI and JCC, to compliment support, advice and guidance provided to Namibia’s SME, a sector identified as a driver of economic growth.

August 2006
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