Women entrepreneurs reach for innovation

18 Jun 2015 07:30am
WINDHOEK, 18 JUN (NAMPA) – Eleven women graduated from the FEMTECH entrepreneurial training programme here on Wednesday.
They graduated in professions ranging from tailoring and fashion design to events management and catering.
It was the third training programme completed by FEMTECH Namibia, and altogether 41 “femmies” graduated from the three-month programme over the past three years.
FEMTECH is a training programme for women entrepreneurs who are focused on growing their businesses.
“They say that an entrepreneur is a risk taker. An entrepreneur is someone who identifies opportunities,” said Jennie Garuses, one of the graduates.
She took up training in order to develop her business in wedding decoration and events management. According to the young entrepreneur, the course was worth the effort as it highlighted the importance of cash flow, advertisement, planning and networking.
“The market is good. People get married every weekend and many see the value of decorations,” Garuses said with confidence in the future.
“I put my personality in my designs,” fashion and jewellery designer Rosalia Nicanor stated, adding that creativity was one of the most important factors that made her pursue the career of an entrepreneur.
Besides practical tools for the development of a business, the graduates emphasise the importance of a network of colleagues from different fields. Support from peers will be needed both in the start-up as well as the maintenance phase of a business.
“After this training, I know who to call if I need embroidery or advice,” Nicanor said.
Elisabet Kivimäki, the counsellor for private sector development at the Finnish Embassy in Namibia, underlined the value of women engaged in entrepreneurship and businesses of all sizes.
“If women are not participating in business, we are losing 50 per cent of the potential of our society,” she said.
The word ‘innovation’ was on the lips of all participants, and Kivimäki urged the utilisation of dreams and skills in business for it to grow.
The three-month training programme was made possible with financial support provided by the Trust of the Bokamoso Entrepreneurial Centre, and the Southern African Innovation Support Programme as well as development partnerships between the governments of Finland, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia.