14 Mar 2014 11:40am
WINDHOEK, 14 MAR (NAMPA) Fifteen women entrepreneurs graduated after they went through an extensive six-months training programme organised by Femtech Namibia on Wednesday.
Femtech Namibia is a collaboration between Femtech (Pty) Ltd South Africa and the Bokamoso Entrepreneurial Centre in Windhoek, which aims to increase the number and success rate of women entrepreneurs by encouraging them to adopt innovative practices and technology in their businesses.
The Femtech programme was initiated with financial support provided by the Trust of the Bokamoso Entrepreneurial Centre (previously known as the City of Windhoeks SME Incubator Centre in Katutura) and the Southern African Innovation Support Programme (SAIS), as well as development partnership between the Governments of Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and Finland.
Speaking at the ceremony, the chairperson of Bokamoso Utete Mupaine said the number of women who operate their own businesses is increasing globally.
She, however, raised the concern that in developing countries, entrepreneurship often arises due to economic necessity rather than new market opportunities.
Furthermore, women-owned businesses tend to generate lower levels of income, make less use of technology and are more often found in the service industries or the informal sector.
In addition, cultural issues present added challenges such as multiple roles and power dynamics in the family and society, she noted.
It was in a bid to overcome these challenges that Bokamoso accepted the challenge and partnered with Femtech South Africa to provide an experiential learning programme, with a strong focus to capacitate women entrepreneurs.
Following the successful implementation of the programme in South Africa and Tanzania by Femtech South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique were the next countries of choice due to their incubation and entrepreneurial landscape.
At the same occasion, the Director of Femtech Tina James urged the graduates to be innovative, and to use their talents to succeed in the world of business.
Graduate Albertina Amupolo from Nepeti Training Enterprises told Nampa that she learned a lot about how to manage her finances, and to draw up a budget.
I have learned about finances, and I developed a mind which can think fast to explore new markets, she enthused.
Amupolo employs six workers and specialises in corporate wear, bags and tracksuits.
Another graduate, Christina Saunderson from African Image Designs and Events said she has learned to think out of the box, and has found proper direction to set and achieve ambitious career goals.
She employs six women.
Over the last six months, the women entrepreneurs were trained on various modules, and had to do assignments which were evaluated.
The modules focused on developing innovative business ideas; defining their markets or market segmentation; managing their money; using information communication technologies in their businesses; and effective communication in the business.
Applications for the second intake will commence from May 2014.