Fishing companies empower rural entrepreneurs

14 Aug 2016 10:30am
WALVIS BAY, 14 AUG (NAMPA) - Seven entrepreneurs from villages and settlements are now empowered to establish fish shops to generate income and create employment.
This was made possible through the Fish-4-Business initiative by the Erongo Marine Enterprise, Oceana Namibia, Etosha Fishing and SME Compete.
The initiative identifies dedicated entrepreneurs selling fish in small quantities to build shops, buy their first stock and training them how to effectively run and grow their businesses.
The fishing companies invested N.dollars 300 000 in the project.
The seven beneficiaries, unveiled here on Friday, were selected out of 600 applicants.
They run fish shops at the Onandjila village near Okahao, Rosh Pinah, Witvlei, Elondo near Tsandi, Oshikushomunkete near Oshikuku, Rundu, and Vyfrand in Okahandja.
“We promise to work hard, create employment for other Namibians and reduce poverty,” said Michael Shilongo of “Shop Number Six” in Oshikushomunkete.
Taimi Amukwaya, who owns “Shop Number One” in Onandjila, said she has already established a second shop at the Iipanda village also near Okahao.
“I now employ four people - two sales ladies, a guard and stock controller,” Amukwaya said.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau said the target is to empower 1 000 small business owners across the country.
In addition to employment creation, food security and poverty reduction, the initiative also promotes fish consumption in rural areas.
He said there is an overwhelming interest by rural people to start fish shops, adding that efforts are made to support such people.
“This is not just a project where you receive a hand-out but you are expected to make a difference in your communities first of all by creating employment,” the minister said.
Danny Meyer from SME Compete said the companies will continue nurturing the entrepreneurs so that they can become established businesspersons.
He motivated them to follow in the footsteps of businessmen Aupa Indongo, late Harold Pupkewitz and John Savva, who created massive employment and contributed to the economy.
“We cannot just give people fish but must also teach them how to sell fish,” he advised.
Meyer said the intention is to bring as many people into the mainstream economy.
“Empowerment is not a racial thing it is a reality, so please grab it with both hands and make us proud,” he added.