Sioko encourages young women into SME’s

21 Feb 2018 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 21 FEB (NAMPA) – The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka has called upon young women to start small to medium enterprises (SME’s), given the country’s current dire economic situation.
Sioka made the call during the handover ceremony of certificates to 90 SME owners who completed courses in basics of business, financial literacy, customer care and food hygiene through the Women’s Action for Development (WAD) in the capital on Wednesday.
“Those who sell kapana and vetkoek are seen as insignificant, but SME’s are the backbone of our economy and during such tough economic times, we depend on them as they add value,” Sioka said.
Sioka emphasised if more women are financially independent, it will reduce Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country as GBV in most cases is caused by women depending on men financially.
“You depend on this particular man for Brazilian hair and other material things, when you want to leave the relationship because of unforeseen circumstances, this man will kill you because he invested in you,” she said.
Referring to the 2016 Labour Force Survey, Sioka said unemployment in Namibia affects women more than men as female unemployment stood at 38,8 per cent compared to men at 29,8 per cent.
One of the beneficiaries, Aina Niiwale has been selling traditional food and soft drinks at Single Quarters Open Market for the past 18 years without any skills on bookkeeping and budgeting.
“The initiative is very helpful as now I know how to do record keeping, deal with customers professionally and how to create a conducive environment for my four employees,” said Niiwale.
She noted that often people mock those in microbusiness despite such businesses uplifting the living standard of families.
The three-day training was sponsored by Coca Cola Namibia Bottling Company through their initiative called 5by20 which is the company’s global commitment to enable economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across its value chain by 2020.
The beneficiaries received start up kits entailing two sets of 24 packs of 330 millilitres soft drinks, a cooler box and beach umbrellas as an injection to their existing micro-businesses.