The MatchME2Funding program has officially passed the halfway mark and every town we visit has different lessons and observation. Eenhana was our sixth town and it taught us to invest in sun scream and also make sure to grab a hat or an umbrella on your way there, because the heat is not your friend in the small and quaint town. Eenhana is the capital town of the Ohangwena Region and is located in the northern part of Namibia, on the border with Angola. Eenhana is exactly 739.7km from Windhoek and used to be a mission station of the Finnish Missionary Society.
Eenhana is situated in a subtropical forest. It is connected to the road network and the town boasts well developed infrastructure ranging from schools, shops and accommodation.
There was a lot of interest and applications in the program from the town but only 20 participants where selected to partake .The program targeted startups and business ideas that were innovative and had a high growth rate as we aim to create sustainable businesses that can create jobs opportunities and eventually decrease the unemployment and poverty rate in the future.
The Eenhana leg of the program took place at Hotel Litu from the 1-3 November and saw three participants walk away with prizes. Julia Naukushu of Four Sons Investment CC walked away with the third prize of N$3250, for her Catering and events management business. She is an entrepreneur who believes in lending a helping hand wherever she can, especially when it comes to her fellow community members who sometimes do not have enough funds or need a couple of hundreds reduced from her catering or equipment fees. Julia believes in the spirit of ubuntu and that is what is at the core of her business. She was preceded by the founder of Oshikema Farming Enterprise CC, Kennedy Katondoka. Kennedy Katondoka said that he aims to make his animal feed cheaper than the well known and loved local brand Feed Masters when asked how he was going to attract customers and create a brand that sustainable and competitive. He also added that the reason he is in this field is to help farmers especially during the dry seasons. He said that farmers are losing animals and his feed will be a solution. Klaudia who is our first 1ST prize female winner since the inception of the program was in tears when she received her cheque of N$5000. Klaudia Mukete wowed the judges with her well packaged salsa and sauce samples that she presented. The Judges were impressed by her packaging and even asked when she was going to approach local shops and restaurants in order to supply them with her products.
Our judges gave a lot of comments and recommendations to the participants after their presentations but what stood out the most was a comment from Mr. Abel Kashihakumwa who is a Senior Economist at the Ministry of Trade and Industrialization who observed that Namibian entrepreneurs don’t like to hone in and become experts at one field ,they rather aim to make money by venturing into multiple businesses and in doing so they neglect the old business and put all the energy in the new venture that they have no or little experience in. He advised the participants to rather focus and build on what they are good at and to request for funds for the ventures that they are already experts in. The judging panel was completed by Tulipohamba Shanyengage who a local Entrepreneur and founder of Litu Holdings and Philp Shilonga is who is the founder of Etunda Londjaba Trading CC.
The next town we will be matching is Opuwo that is situated in the Great Kunene Region.