Source: The Namibian 

The gender ministry trained women in the basics of entrepreneurship last week, in an effort to break the spell of dependency, encourage the registration of formal businesses, as well as participation in tenders.

This was done through the ministry's Acceleration of Women-Owned Micro-Enterprises (AWOME) programme, through its partnership with the United Nations and the De Beers Group of Companies.

Explaining its mandate, executive director in the ministry Esther Lusepani says the programme provides comprehensive support to women micro entrepreneurs, which entails training on a package called Improve Your Business (IYB).

This package is further complemented by coaching aimed at improving women's business acumen. 

“The IYB training package consists of six sets of manuals, including: planning for your business, costing, buying, stock control, record keeping, marketing, as well as people and productivity,” says Lusepani.

The programme is designed to provide women micro entrepreneurs with the ability to grow their businesses through different aspects of business and life skills training, as well as to increase the capacity of Namibian women's business associations, says Lusepani.

Programme trainer Anastasia Shiviya says trainers in the AWOME programme mobilised themselves to train women in their various businesses. Lusepani encourages more women entrepreneurs to register their businesses with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa), Social Security, the Ministry of Finance and other relevant local authorities. 

“This enables you to participate in the public procurement process in order to reap the general benefits of business registration,” she says. 

“It is important to note that the AWOME Namibia programme is expanding in terms of training packages. Our trainers have been capacitated to deliver training in other modules such as, the Generate Your Business Idea (GYB) and Start Your Business (SYB) packages.” she says. 

“The programme will be in a position to deliver training and support to entrepreneurs whose businesses are at various stages in 2022.

In 2019, the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said smart nations invest in women, as “women are more bankable”.

He quoted available data suggesting that the African continent has a US$42 billion financing gap between men and women, leaving 70% of women excluded financially.

Adesina said despite the fact that women are bankable, and are the majority of farmers in Africa, they face a financing gap of close to US$16 billion (N$240 billion).

The bank's president added that 90% of women pay back their loans, “yet, there exists globally close to US$1,5 trillion (N$22 trillion) financing gap for women-led small and medium sized enterprises.”

“Smart nations [ought to] invest in women,” he said.

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