The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) sector is strategically important to any nation as it aids in creating employment, poverty alleviation and economic growth. This statement was recently made by Bank Windhoek’s Head of SME, Financial and Data Analytics, Bianca Janse Van Vuuren when she announced that the Bank would contribute N$ 100 000 for three Namibian Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) to participate at the Africa's Big 7 (AB7) Trade Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event allows entrepreneurs to connect directly with buyers across Africa. It enables them to source products, develop new partnerships, and conclude export and import deals.
Shiwa’s Bakery, Talamo Food Namibia and Zadeva Investment, owned by Shiwomeho Kalla, Erikson Malwa and Eva Shitaatala, are the MSMEs chosen to exhibit at the event, which will take place from Sunday, 18 June, to Tuesday, 20 June 2023. The participants said they are excited to showcase their products on an international and continental level. "Thanks to NIPDB and Bank Windhoek. This initiative reinforces sustainable growth for all SME’S involved,” said Kalla.
In line with Namibia’s National Development Agenda, Van Vuuren said that Bank Windhoek actively supports the SME sector. “Our organisational purpose of being connectors of positive change is brought to life through sponsorships of this nature as we believe that this opportunity will bring about a positive outcome for the selected SMEs and ultimately lead to the growth of their respective industries,” she said.
The three MSMEs were selected from the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board’s (NIPDB) existing Know2Grow High Potential Pool (K2G HPP), a specialised programme developed to assist MSMEs with significant export potential. The NIPDB developed the Know2Grow High Potential Pool Programme to aid in scaling the operations of export ready MSMEs with a high possibility of exporting their products.
NIPDB, as the coordinating entity, will host and showcase the selected Namibian MSMEs operating in the food and beverage sector at the Namibian Pavilion. NIPDB's Manager of Stakeholders and Communication, Shekutaamba Nepembe, said that his team always seeks ways to capacitate and empower MSMEs and benefit from multiple platforms such as Africa’s Big 7. “These platforms provide our MSMEs access to global markets, expansion, and opportunities to network and find potential partners. Our products do not have to be limited to Namibian borders only,” he said.
Van Vuuren concluded by thanking the NIPDB for choosing Bank Windhoek as a partner to kickstart this initiative. She wished the project team all the best.