The SMME owners in Ghanzi region say their businesses have grown since they entered Local Enterprise Authority’s (LEA) mentorship programme and help received from the authority.
The small entrepreneurs revealed this during a media tour organised by LEA this week to showcase some of its clients’ projects in the Ghanzi district. The entrepreneurs, most of whom are in the agriculture sector, said they have realised growth since they registered with LEA. Other sectors visited are manufacturing, services and tourism.
The first stop was at Okarue cattle post in Charleshill where the small stock project is run by France Kanguaiko. He started the project in 1999 through the Financial Assistance policy (FAP) grants. He said after acquiring the funds, he purchased 50 small livestock, 40 goats and 10 sheep. He became a LEA client from 2007 and has received training in entrepreneur development and business planning.
He has also received training with regard to trade show readiness, a preparation that has helped him to scoop several awards over the past few years during the Ghanzi Agricultural shows. Kanguaiko, whose business currently comprises of more than 200 breeding stock, said the challenge they face as small stock breeders is operating the business in a communal land.
He said the government should consider helping those committed to farming by providing them with fenced ranches. A fellow small stock breeder, Karina Bimbo, said some of the challenges they face in communal land is wild animals which regress their efforts by killing their stock. Her business which was established in 2007 currently has 141 stocks. Bimbo said she has received assistance to access operating space and access additional loan to drill a borehole. The small stock business owners said their main customers are mostly during auctions at shows and individual buyers.
Another LEA client based in Meleko farms in Xanagas area, Menate Koneno, also in the agriculture sector but focusing on weaners’ production said she registered her business with LEA in 2008. Though the venture was established through the Youth Grant Scheme, she noted that the authority assisted her to source almost half a million loan from CEDA to expand her business.
She explained that the business is doing well as she is able to sell 30 cattle on average and use part of that to repay the CEDA loan. Some of the training she received from LEA includes quality and productivity and financial management.
Still in Ghanzi, weaner’s production business owner, Andrew Molatole, said he ventured into the business to make profit from cattle rather than keeping them for consumption only. The business which boasts of more than 250 breed stock breeds the cattle to a certain months then sells off to BMC and feedlots.
Like other clients, Molatole has received a fair mentorship from LEA to help him to operate the business.
A guest house operator based in Ghanzi, Seriah Modigah, said the business has grown to an extent where it sustains itself. The guest house which is made of seven rooms, all of them en-suite was established when a residential house was turned into commercial entity to give birth to Gantsi Grand Guest House. Modigah explained that the business is doing well despite tough competition from established lodges found in the township.
She said her guest house offers accommodation to government employees on trips as well as tourists visiting Ghanzi. The business, which employs seven people, started to receive assistance from LEA in 2008 and it is currently eyeing expansion.
SR Clean owned by Dikitso Kolokose offers cleaning and waste management services to chain stores and other private companies in Ghanzi. The company, which employs 18 people, registered with LEA in 2009. The company collects various waste, including clinical and sewage waste.
Others entrepreneurs visited are Kebadile Holdings, a manufacturing company focusing on arts and crafts run by Sox Kebadile and Sentebale Glass Works owned by Moreetsi Phofedi. The company offers various windscreens, glass doors and window panes. Like many others in the Ghazi region, the company registered with LEA in 2008. The entrepreneurs in Ghanzi receive regular visits from LEA business advisors to review the progress made and give them support.