Our Building Bosses Swakopmund cohort has successfully completed phase 2 of the three-phased micro-entrepreneurship training program. Throughout phase 1 and 2 of the program the participants learnt about business fundamentals, entrepreneurship culture, computer literacy, marketing, inventory management and production life-cycle.
As a means to include practical motivation and extended expertise into the curriculum of the program, the participants are exposed to a set of guest speakers throughout the 3-month entrepreneurial incubator as well as a field trip to learn about production and the day-to-day operations of a business. On the 8th of October, our participants were visited by guest speaker Crystal Beukes, the CEO of MSR since 2016. Crystal spent the day with the participants and spoke about important business tools such as registering a business, agent networks, importance of vision, the use of social media and email for advertising; as well the importance of business ethics in terms of looking at the bigger picture and being community conscious. She further offered volunteer-based opportunities to the participants to assist in their entrepreneurial journey.
On the 20th of October, our participants visited the COSDEF Arts & Crafts Centre in Swakopmund as an educational field trip. Mrs. Maria Namumbandunga, Shop Supervisor, and members in different department gave the participants a tour of the Centre to show the participants how their Centre operates as arts and crafts business. At COSDEF 95% of the products are handmade by the students and graduates from raw materials. The participants were taken through the different manufacturing process and learnt the importance of adding value to their production line. COSDEF sources raw materials such as Mahangu stalks from the Onankali green project in Otjikoto region to produce products such as threads for sewing, which emphasised to the students the importance of sourcing locally. The participants further learnt about COSDEF’s marketing strategies through the use of flyers, radio campaigns and word of mouth to market their finished products courses.
As the participants enter the third phase of the program, they are given a ‘Business-in-a-box’ to learn how to sell and market actual products in their communities. On the 27th of October, the participants received seed productions courtesy of E-Express, an Impact Tank venture, in the form of cleaning products such as dishwash liquid, bleach, surface cleaner and sanitizer. The participants will now learn how to target the right customers, make actual sales and how to track the expenses and profits from their ‘business-in-a-box’.
Stay tuned for more highlights from the pitch day event where each participant will pitch their business plans to a panel of judges, with three monetary prizes up for grabs.