Bank Windhoek’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Division recently hosted an SME information session in Ondangwa and Oshakati in collaboration with the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Northern Office.
Bank Windhoek's Manager of Emerging SMEs, Jenevieve Swartz, said that the aim of these sessions was to actively engage the SMEs through information sharing and by providing a platform to the SMEs for sharing their challenges and identifying opportunities that they are faced whilst running successful businesses. The Ondangwa session saw 26 entrepreneurs, while the Oshakati session hosted 42 entrepreneurs. The Bank’s SME team was joined by the Ondangwa and Oshakati Branch staff, who presented the Bank’s products and services.
Amalia Schmidt, a seasoned businesswoman and NCCI Exco member shared a word of welcome with the attendees, thanked and commended them for standing firm during the most challenging times that SMEs faced at the height of the COVID Pandemic.
One of the attendees, Shatona Tuyenikelao, an SME business owner in Oshakati, expressed her sincere gratitude to Bank Windhoek for the engaging session and encouraged more future engagements.
As part of the Bank’s strategic partnerships, the Namibia Investment Promotion Development Board (NIPDB) Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Business Advisory Services unit accompanied the team at both sessions. They provided an insightful presentation on the mandate of the MSME unit and the various initiatives they are currently driving in Namibia.
The recurring theme amongst the SMEs in both the Ondangwa and Oshakati sessions was that they need access to information – feeling that most interventions are provided in Windhoek and not reaching the Northern part of the country, access to finance to grow their businesses, mentoring and coaching on the various aspects of a business and most importantly to engage with bank staff that know and understand their business.
Bank Windhoek’s Manager of Emerging SMEs, Jenevieve Swartz, stressed the importance of regular engagements with the SMEs to understand their expectations and aspirations better and to provide them with tailor-made solutions for their unique business ventures. “As connectors of positive change, our ambitions are to present these sessions across all 14 regions, where possible, to ensure that access to information is available to all. We value our clients and prospective clients, and we want to reinforce that relationship by reaching out through these sessions,” she said.