On 29th April 2021, 137 Entrepreneurs & SME’s from all Regions in Namibia Graduated from the The Olafika SME Development and Mentorship. This group of graduates were the intake of 2020 when the Programme migrated to an online platform due to the outbreak of Covid 19.
Olafika is a Training & Mentorship Programme designed to train, equip and mentor Entrepreneurs, SME’s and Start – ups from all 14 regions in Namibia in critical skills of managing their enterprises and themselves for success. Over a 10 months period, they are trained through a well-developed, relevant and critical curriculum focusing on:
- Understanding Entrepreneurship and Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Getting Started in Business
- Managing Your Finances
- Managing Your People
- Marketing and e – Marketing
- Running Your Business
- Personal Development
Among the key business modules, entrepreneurs will receive mentoring support on strategy, operations, commercial and financial analysis, change management, people management, product review and business development.
Following the successful 2020 Cohort, the Programme will now Commence with the recruitment of the 2021 Cohort. The 2021 approach will be focusing on addressing urgent issues faced by small businesses, particularly as a result of Covid-19 through a BACK-to-BASICS approach integrating Digital technology, a Stronger Online Presence and Block classes for direct contact. Entrepreneurs & SME’s who are hungry to make a difference to their businesses and their communities are encouraged to apply. Applications opened on 30th of April 2021. Application forms should be submitted to the Local Economic Development Officers in the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development in all the regions or via the Olafika Programme Administration on firstname.lastname@example.org.The Programme is fully-funded and supported through Smart Partnerships with the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Ministry of Industrialization, Trade & SME Development, as well as the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. The 2021 intake will be composed of 50 commence on 27 May 2021
Commenting on the remodeled 2021 version of Olafika, NDTC CEO Brent Eiseb said: “This is an enterprise-driven initiative. It was designed, in consultation with Namibian businesses, to meet the needs of SMEs at this challenging time. Businesses like ours play a key role both inhelping society get through an economic crisis and in creating innovations that shape society after a crisis.”
Olafika is open to SMEs operating across Namibia in all sectors across the economy, including retail, hospitality, food & drink, media & audio-visual, manufacturing, services, construction, agriculture and many more. Entrepreneurs will be matched with one of 50 expert industry mentors. Besides the classes offered at Africa Leadership Institute (ALI), a 10-month mentorship will also commence after a mentee has been successfully matched with a mentor where the mentor and mentee are encouraged to meet at least 3 times as mutually agreed, in line with the new Covid-19 guidelines.
Said KAS resident representative Natalie Rossman during Olafika Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation, “Actions during the crisis will shape businesses in the long run. Every crisis creates opportunities for businesses to become more innovative. Facing external pressures, some business leaders are stepping out of their routines and comfort zones to become creative problem-solvers. Along the way, they rediscover their entrepreneurial spirit. At KAS, it is clear
the post-pandemic future will be different. What’s happening during the Covid-19 crisis will have a lasting impact on our society but current signs of entrepreneurial initiative and goodwill give us some cause for optimism in Namibia.”The Olafika mentors have extensive experience in formulating action plans to guide and support SMEs through challenges such as business restructuring, restricted transactions, financial concerns, job losses, business re-adaptation and new guidelines on health and safety, among other things.
Olafika encourages SMEs to sign up through their website or social media platforms and avail of this opportunity to seek sound advice and to help navigate their immediate business challenges as the demand is expected to be very high, places will be made available to eligible businesses on a first-come-first served basis.
“The government attaches great importance in facilitating the development of SMEs and helping them enhance competitiveness. It is no longer Business as Usual – now Business Unusual!’ said Twapewa Kadhikwa, the director of Twapewa Kadhikwa Institute of Entrepreneurial Development and Founder of Olafika SME Development & Mentorship Programme.