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NIPDB calls for new ways to unlock MSMEs growth

The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) has urged stakeholders to come up with new ways to unlock growth in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector.

This comes amid indications that with the right support, small and medium-size enterprises could significantly boost economic growth. Official government figures show that the MSMEs’ sector, which has approximately 33,700 companies with 15,000 formally registered, contributes approximately 12% to the country’s GDP.

NIPDB CEO and Chairperson Nangula Uaandja told a K2G NextGen Entrepreneurs initiative event that it was time for the MSMEs industry to develop into the next stage.

“We want to see what we can do as a nation to address this challenge that we are facing. There have been lots of activities over the years in supporting MSMEs and supporting youth. There is one word that I do not like to hear from people close to me and that is capacity building. I have heard that word for too long and I have not seen any capacity that has been built. Since Namibia’s independence I have heard capacity building projects and why have I not seen it.

“We need to change to another word because capacity building is not working. Maybe it’s the word that is not working or it's other things that are not working. Definitely classroom training and bringing people together to tell them everything that is not working. We need to find other ways of working together that can work. Yes, the classroom is important, but it has to be a small percentage of what we are doing to support MSMEs and to support youth employment,” she said. 

Uaandja further said there is a need to examine the current MSMEs ecosystem to find out why there are continuous challenges in growing the sector.

“What we (NIPDB) don’t want is to replicate work that is already being done. There is a lot of work that is being done and what we did is, we are engaging the stakeholders to find out what the ecosystem looks like. If we have been talking about MSMEs activities and I have been hearing about MSMEs and capacity building and we are not achieving the desired results, what is the missing ingredient? I am not saying that I have an answer, maybe one of you has an answer or all of us have an answer together. If we have our ecosystem, does it support ideas generation? Does it support the incubation and acceleration of those ideas? Is funding available and what type of funding do we have available? What about mentorship and coaching? Does the ecosystem support one who can help you so that you focus on product development? Then there is market access. Now I have this brilliant product, where do I sell it?” the NIPDB CEO asked.

“I have found out there are lots of ideas. Namibians have ideas, but do we have an ecosystem that has sufficient information? In terms of funding. Do we have suitable funding? There is lots of money that is available. There is a credit guarantee scheme, why are we not accessing it? How much is the uptake?”

The K2G NextGen Entrepreneurs initiative is a market access and capacity building platform aimed to support the entrepreneurship visions of young Namibian business owners between the ages of 18 and 35. 

The platform will afford entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their business offerings, engage various industry stakeholders and network with other young entrepreneurs.

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Last modified on Thursday, 17 November 2022 17:39

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