The project offered modules in Self Development, Practical Financial Skills, Marketing and Networking and General Business Management for the first six months, and mentorship support for the latter half of the year. It is fully sponsored by Old Mutual Namibia which also extends an additional business loan of N$20 000 to all participants.
Patricia Olivier, Human Resources Executive for Old Mutual, said many previous graduates have enjoyed steady business growth, and that an additional six months mentorship and support programme had been extended to those who have struggled to master some aspects of the programme. Olivier said the goal of the Women’s Micro-Business Project partnership, which was started in 2009, is to bring to the fore previously untapped potential for the Namibian economy through assisting aspiring Namibian business women.
Adri Smith, Acting Director of the CED, said: “It is a great honour for the CED to have been involved in this project with Old Mutual over the past five years. We are proud to be associated with a leading business that ploughs back its resources into the people of the country.”
The programme has to date produced 35 successful entrepreneurs. The last six graduates, however, will be the last under the programme’s current format as it is being reviewed to investigate the possibility of extending support beyond the current one-year period of commitment.