14 Sep 2013 04:00
WINDHOEK, 14 SEP (NAMPA) - Fresh n Bake Bakery and Market in Windhoeks Okuryangava residential area, which employs 120 people, was voted the Best Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) at the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN)'s Good Business Awards.
The DBN announced the winners of the annual event at a ceremony in the capital on Thursday evening.
The awards for DBN clients recognise employment creation, use of local resources, good business administration and governance, local procurement, and ownership by previously disadvantaged Namibians.
The award for Best Large Enterprise went to last year's runner-up Armstrong Construction.
During the course of the year, Armstrong Construction strengthened its business and grew its export markets.
Certificates of merit were awarded to Namibia Civil Engineering Laboratory and Urban Legend in the SME category.
Ongwediwa Medipark and Proqual Diagnostic Imaging received certificates of merit in the Large Enterprise category.
The fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) recognises that the private sector is the engine of the economy and an epicentre for job creation. Businesses represented here tonight are some of the key role-players.
Government believes that there is still a great potential for SMEs to create jobs in Namibia. This is to be achieved not only through access to finance, but also through deliberate growth-at-home strategies and policies, said Ben Nashandi, Deputy Permanent
Secretary of Finance while speaking on behalf of Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila during the ceremony.
Speaking on the need for capacity building in Namibia at the same event was Victoria Namwandi of the International University of Management (IUM).
Without capacity, plans are best left on paper for the simple reason that a plan executed without knowledge and skills is almost certain to fail, and that will be an expense, not just in terms of monetary costs, but also in terms of the lost opportunities as manpower and material are diverted from other projects.
In light of this, it is imperative that we establish a nation that is equipped with the necessary skills and know-how to be effective, she said.
DBN Chairperson Elize Angula also addressed the event, saying the enterprises which the bank finances are those which it believes will be here for years and decades to come.
Good governance, sound business administration and meaningful use of local resources secure
these enterprises for the future. The recipients of these awards exemplify this approach. The bank asks that you consider these enterprises, and their long-term impact. We hope you will be able to adopt the same approaches that they have used to make their enterprises successful, if you have not done so already, she said, addressing the DBN clients present at the event.
Fresh n Bake Bakery and Market used DBN financing to build a new bakery and mini-market.
The bakery is a central source of supplies for informal businesses in Okuryangava and surrounding areas, creating the opportunity for members of communities to earn or supplement incomes.
Fresh n Bake Bakery is a triumph of ambition and personal development on the parts of Tate Moses Joseph and Meme Alina Naidyala.
They began baking traditional bread and vetkoek to supplement their income in 1984. In 2001, they started Fresh n Bake Bakery and Market at their home in Katutura, using a handmade oven.
Tate Joseph started managing it full-time in 2003 and also began to give baking training in his community. Today, they provide 120 permanent employment opportunities.
Runner-up Namibia Civil Engineering Laboratory provides soil and material testing services to the civil engineering profession, as well as development of concrete mixes.
Not only is the laboratory a means to assure quality, but it is also a manner to test the quality of innovative civil engineering processes.
Runner-up Urban Legend, in the centre of Windhoek, is a fashion outlet established by two young entrepreneurs.
With little more than a dream to begin with, and finance from DBN, the owners overcame every challenge they faced, opened their store, and went on to become stockists of African clothing brands.
Urban Legend now also retails Namibian clothing label, Sushi and Beer, creating an opportunity for Namibian clothing manufacturers.