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“Whatever you do, whether failing or succeeding, as long as you are moving forward and learning in the process you are good.”


Efraim Shivute is a 26-year-old Namibian entrepreneur and the founder of Kapana In Town. He was born in Otjiwarongo. He grew up in Oshakati with his father, who was a businessman based in the northern parts of Namibia. Efraim attended his primary school at Erundu S.S and secondary school at Otjiko Secondary School. After high school, he went to study Diesel Mechanics at NIMT, and later Information Science at the University of Namibia. Efraim worked at Advanced 4×4 car hire for 3 years as a mechanic and Pupkewitz Honda for 6 months before he decided to drop the career as a whole in February 2016 and pursue entrepreneurship.

Efraim believes that is how he came to fall in love with entrepreneurship because he was already exposed to it at an early age, from his father. Even when he was away from his father who would constantly spoil him, with his mother he learned to work for everything that he wanted by selling anything and everything, such as fish, spice, fat cakes, matangara and more. In this way, his entrepreneurial spirit was nurtured from a young age, leading to him finally starting his own business.

Tell us about Kapana In Town, the products & services you offer and your team.

“Kapana In Town was founded on the 1st of February 2019. Our main purpose was to bring kapana closer to the consumers in town seeing that the main Kapana spot in the city was a bit far. We serve kapana, free salsa, fat cakes, kapana burgers and soft drinks, which we deliver all over Windhoek. Deliveries start from N$40 as the minimum order and if you are within walking distance delivery will be free whereas if you are outside the CBD delivery is N$20 anywhere in Windhoek. The team behind the start-up are all students, namely:

Toivo Stefanus (23),

Petrus Shivute (23), and

Wilson Kavefi (25).”

What inspired you to start this business?

“I remember it vividly. On January 27th, 2020 I was taking a walk around town and like any person would I started craving kapana but having to drive to Single Quarters in Katutura was such a long process and since it was lunch time, traffic would have delayed me. At that moment I answered about ten questions based on WHY, WHO and HOW in my mind, of course putting myself in the next person’s shoes because I somehow knew I was not the only one craving kapana.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“To be honest, I do not see myself as a boss but rather as an employee. It is not really something one enjoys besides the fact that you have greater control and flexible working hours; it is the hardest thing I ever had to endure because you take on the bulk of the business’s struggles and get rewarded last and that is what most people do not understand or forget. I believe deep down that entrepreneurship has been in me for years — I just needed the right people around me to execute.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“What makes us different is our delivery system, the free salsa we provide for every order and the specials that we are always having. Also, customer satisfaction is the key in the food industry, knowing what your customers like and dislikes, we put all these things into consideration.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“It has been a long journey but one of the key challenges I had to face were starting off and money management. It took us 3 days to start and we all know how starting something with so little to no knowledge at all would go, but as we moved forward we made learning the ups and downs of the industry our top priority. As for money management, we did not have a system in place to deal with stock-taking but as time went by, plus the experience we came up with a perfect one.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Yes, “Forward “. Whatever you do, whether failing or succeeding, as long as you are moving forward and learning in the process, you are good. “

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“I would advise anyone thinking of starting a business to be prepared to fail before you start seeing returns.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“I think networking is important for entrepreneurs and their businesses as it gets you and your business noticed by others. By establishing more connections and by regularly contributing to networks, your business will become more reputable.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“We strongly believe in giving back to the community whether through contributions or charity events, although when it comes to such things we prefer to keep them from the public.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“COVID-19 has affected almost every business. The effect it had on us was one that we never thought we would recover from. We laid off employees without salaries, we went from averaging sustainable amounts to making N$50 a day. But through support from family  and friends we were able to invest back into the business as well as into other start-ups.”


Email: kapanaintown@gmail.com

Facebook: @KapanaInTown

Contact: +264 812246950 or +264814410050

Instagram: @KapanaInTown / @_Proshivute_na

Twitter: @KapanaInTown / @Proshivute


“Your Reputation is Your Integrity — Don’t Compromise It.”

Pomwene Hamalwa is an entrepreneur and owner of Creative Corner Events cc. She hails from the Ohangwena region, where she attended both primary & secondary school –at Etomba Combined school (Grade 1-7) and Ongha Senior Secondary School (Grade 8-12) respectively. She went on to obtain an Honors Degree in Digital Communication Technology (2016).

Since the year she graduated, she attained CompTIA certifications and worked on acquiring her driver’s license, hoping this would boost up her resume and help her secure her dream job. However, the job hunting journey continued unsuccessfully for her, as she couldn’t seem to find a job that she was satisfied with. This was when Pomwene made the decision to delve into Event Planning and with the founding of Creative Corner Events in 2018, she never looked back. She is currently working towards becoming a Master-Certified Event Planner, which would then equip her with the necessary knowledge and experience to create even more professional events.


Tell us about Creative Corner Events, the products & services you offer and your team.

“Creative Corner Events is a company, founded in 2018, that specializes in events styling and décor. CCE provides its clients a breath of fresh air in the event planning market. We work with the client’s vision & budget, and provide them with the best of our creativity, professional expertise & knowledge of sustainable practices. I am a well-rounded planner with the tools to create signature events with the goal of exceeding client expectations every time.

We offer setup & décor for:

·      Kiddies themed birthdays;

·      Christening/baptisms;

·      Bridal & baby showers;

·      Picnics;

·      Graduation parties; and

any other events & functions.”

Currently, the CCE team consists of the owner, Pomwene, and two young, passionate & highly-trained assistants. CCE’s goal is to expand the team as the business itself grows.

What inspired you to start this business?

“Since I graduated in 2016, I’ve been job searching and I couldn’t seem to find a satisfying, secure job. I took up jobs in various sectors and most of these jobs, if not all, were contractual jobs and were outside my field of study. This encouraged me to try entrepreneurship. I started this business to cultivate financial independence for myself, as well as follow my dreams and fulfill my passion for DIY and being creative with everything I do. Following one’s dreams can fulfill you in a way that working for someone else may not do.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“I enjoy having a schedule that’s mine alone. When you’re working for someone else, your work hours are at their discretion. When you work for yourself, you have the freedom to control your hours and schedule. I also enjoy the broad creative expression; when you’re the boss, you can express your creativity in your day to day life. You can try out new strategies and find ways to make your business better – and you’re the one that will benefit from that creative thinking.

Growing up I never dreamt of being an entrepreneur, but as I grew up and due to my life experiences, I was keen to delve into entrepreneurship.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“I believe that I come up with innovative concepts for our clients’ events and that is what makes us different. Delivering details and creativity sets our work apart from our competitors.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“The main challenge I have encountered on my journey is funding to help grow my business. There have been so many ideas I could not execute because of lack of funds. I overcame this challenge by just saving the little income I was making and I kept investing it back into my business.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Your Reputation is Your Integrity — Don’t Compromise It.“

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“Just start. Start where you are with what you have, don’t wait for the perfect time because it might never come. Beginnings are the hardest, but the journey will be worth it eventually, just put in the work and you will see results.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“Networking is important for growing your business because it helps you gain connections, generation of referrals and partnership opportunities. It can also boost your communication skills and increase your access to business resources.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“CCE contributes to the society by bringing growth and innovation to the community. We also help stimulate economic growth by providing employment opportunities to people who may not be employable by larger corporations.

CCE will have its first balloon décor, styling and sculpting training in November. This will be an amazing opportunity to encourage people that want to enter into the events décor industry and help them acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to grow their businesses and create jobs for future generations.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“I believe there is a lack of resources, information and funding for the youth to start & run successful businesses and create job opportunities. This might actually be the main reason why the youth are starting their own businesses. More workshops and seminars are needed to improve the operation of startups and encourage those with a love for entrepreneurship. Lack of startup funding is mostly why a lot of people are sitting at home unable to execute their amazing ideas.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“The events, décor & wedding industries are suffering and it has led to a major decrease in work, as all three are based on the need for people to gather, to assemble. The COVID-19 crisis has made it difficult for large groups to gather. As the pandemic continues, the government has placed restrictions on large gatherings and has asked citizens to follow proper social distancing guidelines. Due to this, many clients have cancelled or postponed their events and that has led to a loss in income. We have been struggling to keep our business up and running during this unprecedented time and this has made me struggle with paying my two employees. In March & August, the business was completely shut down because it was only gatherings of 10 people allowed. Other months we were open but we did not make as much revenue whereas before COVID-19 we were booked almost every weekend.”



Email: Info.creativecornerevents@gmail.com

Cell: 081 428 8459

Facebook: CreativeCorner Events

Instagram: @creativecorner_events

“If you’re genuinely passionate, you’ll be okay.

Martha Nahambo is a young entrepreneur and the owner of Wait on Me Staffing Agency. The oldest of three children, Martha was born and raised in Windhoek, where she attended both primary & high school, finishing her Grade 12 at Academia Secondary School in 2014. Having failed her matric year, Martha then decided to attend TUCSIN in an attempt to improve her results. After finishing at TUCSIN, she went on to complete the Science Foundation course at the University of Namibia (UNAM) in 2016. Martha is currently enrolled at the NUST Hotel School, in her final year.


Martha was proactive, starting working at the age of 16 at her aunt’s catering company. She then quickly moved on to working at different restaurants, cafes and lodges. She joined Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino as a scheduled worker, and also worked as a GSA (Guest Service Attendant) in the Casino. Overtime, her position became permanent.

“Now I have been fortunate enough to be the only Namibian selected to join the Ascent Graduate Programme –  a programme by Minor Hotels (a hotel-chain based in Thailand, that owns different brands of hotels including Avani Hotels)  that selects a handful of students from around the world, giving them the opportunity to learn & grow through their various 530 hotels worldwide. The programme was meant to take place in April 2020 but due to the pandemic, it has been moved to next year. I am looking forward to being a part of the next cohort & the journey that lies ahead!”

Starting her own company alongside juggling school & work really helped Martha learn how to work on tight deadlines but also taught her how to prioritize and plan ahead, while also allowing her to meet & work with amazing people who have taught her much about career growth.

Tell us about Wait on Me, the products & services you offer and your team.

“Wait on Me provides gourmet waitressing services for bars, restaurants and events. Our staff takes care of your guests and gives you the peace of mind to focus on other aspects of your event. Just as each event is unique, we provide specialized waitressing services to all our clients and cater to their needs.

We also offer specialized training packages that are perfect for existing waiters to improve their skills, product knowledge and ensure that customers are happy to return.

In addition, we make specialized platters for small to big events.

The Wait On Me team consists of young, passionate and highly trained waiters that all have experience working in the Hospitality Industry.”

What inspired you to start this business?

“During my first year of varsity, my friends and I made it a habit to dine out as much as we could but in doing so, I realized that customer service was terrible but more importantly half, if not all, of these waiters didn’t have the skills they needed to work in the industry. This first started as a way for my friends and I to make money but it quickly picked up traction as we went along.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“Being my own boss has brought a whole new meaning to the word responsible. This company is my baby and I want to see it grow and flourish but in order for that to happen, I am responsible for feeding it e.g. publishing good content, investing in good quality work/people, responding to the clients on time, getting work done on time etc. That level of responsibility is often misunderstood and taken for granted. I also love the freedom that allows me to do what I think is right.

I decided a long time ago that “working for the man” wasn’t in the cards for me. Yes, I would love to work to gain experience, make connections but it was never going to be a permanent thing.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“The qualifications that we hold as well as the experience definitely sets us apart from our competition. Waitressing is not rocket science, so anyone can do it but not everyone can be a waiter. We are lucky to have found a team that are truly passionate about serving people.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“Being able to juggle everything because as the owner, I am constantly playing different roles within Wait On Me. From receptionist, to content creator, financial manager, to the HR department – my plate is full. The trick is to find your tribe. Surround yourself with people (entrepreneurs) that are also in the same boat as you but more importantly, people that can help you in some of these departments. That help can come in the form of advice, a program/app you didn’t know existed or that one cousin that can do it in their sleep.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Entrepreneurship has no room for shyness. If you have a product/service, hell — even an idea, share it because at the end of the day, you’re not going to sell it to yourself.“

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“The Hospitality Industry doesn’t sleep; no joke. Working long hours, over the weekends, on special occasions & major holidays will become a norm but if you’re genuinely passionate about this industry, you’ll be okay.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“The obvious answer is that it is important because you meet people that can help your business. But I stand by 3 things:

  1. Believe in your product/service, it’s easier to sell.
  2. There is no room for shyness when it comes to networking. No one will know about your product if you don’t talk about it. If you are shy, practice in the mirror, with friends or family.
  3. Get over the fear of sharing your business idea. As you share, opinions from other people can help shape it into a much better idea, something you haven’t thought of.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“Wait On Me recruits and hires newly graduated hospitality students that are in need of work experience. Many waitressing jobs have been taken up by people with very little to no experience. We provide a platform in which these students can gain skills, experience and an income is our way of ensuring that we give them an opportunity to grow their careers, sometimes beyond waitressing.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“While funding schemes are just as important, we need more workshops or forums on how to actually run successful and self-sustaining businesses that can provide employment for future generations. The very basics of how to register a business, how to do taxes etc. It’s frustrating that the youth are constantly told to create job opportunities but are not given adequate resources to do so.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“COVID-19 has brought the Hospitality & Tourism industry to its knees. Many restaurants have closed permanently while others are struggling to keep their doors open. With that said, we have moved our focus to training more existing waiters, by upskilling them to ensure that establishments within the sector hold onto the very few customers left.”


Email: info@waitonme.com.na

Website: www.waitonme.com.na

Cell: 081 568 5055

Facebook: Wait on Me Staffing Agency

Instagram: @waitonme_na

LinkedIn: Wait on Me Staffing Agency

From Left to right: Niita Shikongo (Launch Coordinator), Given Veiko (Pitch Winner), Luimar Silva (Pitch Winner), Omagano Kankondi (Head of Solution Mapping, UNDP Accelerator Lab)

Launch Namibia hosted their first Pitch Night of the year on Thursday, September 10th 2020. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in the country, the event was streamed to a virtual audience via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The event was an overall success with over 500 viewers tuning in.

The Pitch Night was themed around technological solutions, pulling together a cohort of 6 entrepreneurs, of which 2 won. The first winner was Given Veiko, who pitched a concept with a background in Education; while the second winner, Luimar Silva, pitched a business idea with a background in marketing. The winners both received a start-up hamper including a cash prize, business registration, a company design package and placement in the TechXport Accelerator Programme (MEST Africa) & a 6 month incubation at Basecamp powered by Start-up Namibia.

Launch Namibia still plans on having one more Pitch Night in 2020, loosely themed around Innovation. Look out for more information about the second Pitch Night on Launch Namibia’s social media platforms. 

“Dedicate yourself to ensuring excellence & satisfaction.


Silvanus Lotto, born and bred in the streets of Katutura, Windhoek, is a youth entrepreneur and the owner of Lotto Runners. His primary years were divided into Grades 1-3 being at Marti Atisaari Primary School while Grades 4-7 were completed at Bet-El Primary School. He then went on to complete secondary school at Jan Jonker Afrikaaner High School. Upon attaining his high school certificate with what he deemed as unsatisfactory results, he embarked on improving his results and getting a driver’s license.

He slightly improved his results and took on Civil Engineering diploma studies for 2 and a half years. However, the burden of funding his tertiary education out of his own pocket became draining and Lotto rather opted to change his field to Marketing, as it was cheaper to study than Engineering. Simultaneously, Silvanus took up jobs in various sectors to sustain himself, such as transport services, tourism, security, retail & sales consultancy, construction, freelance marketing and many more. He now possesses qualifications in Civil Engineering (Diploma obtained in 2016) and Marketing (Certificate obtained in 2017), as well as certificates of participation in a Youth Entrepreneurial Training Workshop (2013) and a Leadership Development Training (2013).

Tell us about Lotto Runners, the products & services you offer and your team.

“Lotto Runners is a professional errand service provider founded by Silvanus Lotto – a consultant expert ensuring both personal & business errands are executed. Lotto Runners was formed to be one’s third hand to assist in executing your daily tasks. We later expanded due to meeting & interacting with people & businesses from different sectors, thereby adding 3 more departments under our umbrella, namely:

  • Marketing Strategy: designing different concepts to market your brand;
  • Immigration Consultancy;
  • Business Brokering: helping to buy/sell & expand businesses, acting as a proxy, business registration & consulting.”

What inspired you to start this business?

“Being from Windhoek, people would always inquire about specific offices and that I should drive them around or consult for them at these offices. The hassle around where, who and how to get things done on time was always a frustrating issue amongst the people around the capital city, however, being born and bred in Windhoek, I knew my way around and could easily maneuver within the city.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“The best thing I enjoy about being my own boss is being in control of my own time. To be honest, I always wanted to be a lot of things but a boss? That never really crossed my mind. While working for people all my life, I always had a side business earning commissions more than my salaries so perhaps it was inevitable.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“The fundamental basics of business operations sets us apart; we value all our customers and handle everything with the upmost customer service, satisfaction and overwhelming professionalism in mind.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“As the errand runner, not forgetting it is a new sector in Namibia, Namibians haven’t gotten used to the idea of someone executing errands on their behalf. Therefore, our main challenge was the lack of trust from people, due to them not being accustomed to the service. Initially, how we overcome this was to let clients put in their request without paying for the errand beforehand, enabling them to gain more trust in the service. Usually after the first errand, clients would have gained trust and oftentimes they would then refer us to other clients.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Dedicate yourself to ensuring excellence & satisfaction.“

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“For everyone trying to penetrate this market, one first needs to know and understand your clients’ wants and needs, because it enables you to meet your clients at the very peak of customer satisfaction. As they say, patience is everything; your client should learn and be able to trust your capabilities in executing their tasks on time and as requested.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“Networking is fundamental for startups as it gets you involved in your community and your industry, which raises your profile and thus attracts attention to your business. People like to do business with familiar faces & familiar businesses. Networking allows you to find new opportunities you might not have discovered on your own. Your network has the potential to provide you with insight into different fields, information on what potential clients look for and advice on how you can improve professionally.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“Lotto Runners believes in assisting to shape the society for the better and changing mindsets within our communities. In 2018, we hosted a Youth Motivation Day which benefited about 150 youth around Katutura & Khomasdal. The day was aimed at targeting mental issues, the role of men in society, accepting what was and moving on from the past, positive peer pressure, entrepreneurial talks and planning ahead; the event played host to prominent speakers, the likes of Leevy Lee Abrahams, Ally Angula, Sacky Shangala and Sophia Shaningwa.

Lotto Runners is also currently working on a ready-to-launch Marketing Strategy competition, giving away a free marketing strategy to one lucky Small to Medium Enterprise.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“I believe constant engagements between government, the private sector and Namibian start-ups can really help to grow all these respective sectors into a favorable, inter-connected market. Networking sessions for start- ups would also be a great way of improving marketing and being noticed.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“COVID-19 has created difficulties for all businesses, whether established or start-ups, and we all had to re-adjust in order to still remain in business. Our contribution during this time has been creating awareness of the virus, and informing clients that even whilst having to stay home for their own safety, they could rely on us to execute their tasks. We were also fortunate enough to be invited to the COVID-19 Communication Center to speak on the assessment of the center, but from the stakeholders’ perspective on the 19th May 2020.”


Email: lottorunners247@gmail.com

Facebook: LOTTO Runners

Instagram: lotto_runners_

Cell: 0811284627

“Keep pushing even when you feel like you can’t anymore; that is the wheel aligned to greatness.

Victoria Joseph is a student, entrepreneur and owner of Victoria Nanny Agency. Born and raised in Windhoek, she attended primary school at Moses Garoeb High before moving to the south for Grade 8 to 10, at Suiderlig Hoerskool. Upon returning to Windhoek for her Grade 11 & 12, she committed to pursue the commercial field as she knew that one day she would start a business of her own.

Victoria grew up with her father, who spurred the love for entrepreneurship in her, having run his own business. This taught her self-independence, and eventually led her to take up a business course at NUST, after matriculating, which she is now in the second year of.

“I feel as though I have yet to achieve anything huge yet, despite owning an agency of my own. My greatest achievement would be ensuring that all the women under my service are being educated & provided with jobs that pay above the minimum wage; when these women are able to feed their families. That is the goal.”


Tell us about Victoria Nanny Agency, the products & services you offer and your team.

“Victoria Nanny Agency is a company that provides reliable nannies and caregivers across Namibia. Our main priority is to provide workers that can be part of a family, that understand the importance of taking care of kids with love and nurturing these children while parents are at work. The nannies are our employees and we connect them to our clients. We then facilitate payment after the service has been provided, for transparency & control’s sake.

What we do is train these nannies in the following areas:

– Hygiene

– Professional ethics for nannies & caregivers

– Basic First Aid for Infants & toddlers

– Baby Stimulation

Currently, I only work with my assistant Diina, but we will look into expanding the team as we grow.”

What inspired you to start this business?

“What inspired me to start up this business is the struggle that I saw growing up. My mom was both a domestic worker & a caregiver/nanny. In Grade 11, I would go to her workplace after school to help her clean and do house chores.

I came to find out that the work she was doing was a lot and she was underpaid because she was not educated enough to demand higher wages. That was when I came up with the idea of starting a business that could provide trained nannies; specifically, on how to do domestic chores, take care of infants, etc. In this way, the women could receive certificates that would allow them to get paid fair & better wages to be able to feed their families. Most of these women come from underprivileged backgrounds and people tend to look down on them, or disrespect; this isn’t fair. I want them to be empowered & respected.”



What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“The flexibility it allows me; being in charge of my schedule, when and where I work. I knew I always wanted to work for myself because I wanted to have an organization that will be able to help & empower women.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“We are the first and only nanny agency in the country to provide professional nanny training, including First Aid to nannies & caregivers. We have partnered with NUST paramedic department to help us conduct effective training sessions to our nannies. We also make sure our nannies go through a mandatory health, reference and background check prior to being added to our database. We want to provide well-equipped, trained nannies to help children with stimulation.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“Working with different types of people has been the most challenging thing thus far. You have to understand & learn how to handle each client differently, while also providing exceptional customer service. This is why we try to ensure that there is fluid communication with clients as well as discipline from our nannies.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Keep pushing even when you feel like you can’t anymore; that is the wheel aligned to greatness.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“You need to be both patient and polite; to your team & your employees, to your clients. A good agency thrives on excellent customer service.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“Networking for a start-up is growth. It increases your brand awareness, which can thus provide you with potential customers and market validation. Networking also helps improve your skills and helps you stay on top of the latest trends within your operating market.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“Victoria Nanny Agency plays its part in the ecosystem by creating employment for over 60 women countrywide, thus helping to decrease unemployment, especially that of women. We also enrich & empower women by providing them with basic education i.e. First Aid, domestic work, child care awareness, etc.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“Because of the current pandemic, progress has been relatively slow. We have had to adjust our methods on how to operate and to find ways to keep our nannies employed. We started an initiative of providing free COVID-19 prevention & awareness, offered as a new, additional service; not forgetting the provision of free masks and sanitisers as well.”



Email: victorianannyagency@gmail.com

Tel: +264 81 579 6003

Facebook: Victoria Nanny Agency Namibia

Instagram & Twitter: @Victoria_Nanny_Agency_Namibia

“Trust the process, even though you don’t understand it. Every step has its purpose.”


Ismenio Pascoal is a young entrepreneur and the current Managing Partner & Finance Administrator of Kuenda Digital Namibia. He was born in Angola but later moved to Windhoek, Namibia when he was 13 years old. He completed his primary school education at Amazing Kids Private Academy and he is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting & Finance at International Training College. He is a fervent academic, also holding qualifications from the University of Bocconi (Private Equity & Venture Capital), PwC (Data-Driven Decision Making) and IBM (Enterprise Design Thinking) to mention a few.

While in his first year, Ismenio started working on Kuenda Digital with his partners, as a way to make money and to respond to the high demand of companies who had an interest in advertising on Successcode –  an African digital media brand focused on modern entrepreneurship. Due to the founder working on other ventures, Ismenio has taken the lead as general manager of operations and has been doing amazing work to establish the start-up in Namibia.

Tell us about Kuenda Digital Namibia, the products & services you offer and your team.

“Kuenda Digital is a marketing agency founded in 2017 in Angola, and just recently expanded to the Namibian market. We specialize in Digital Marketing, offering services such as Online Advertising, Social Media Management, E-mail Marketing and Inbound Marketing.

Our clients include companies with enormous growth potential, who understand that having a high-quality product or service is just not enough to differentiate themselves from the competition. For this reason, they invest in the expansion of their communication & sales channels, and search for an agency that is well-known for helping businesses turn the internet into one of the main channels to attract, engage & retain customers.

Thus far, we have worked on more than 100 projects with several companies from Angola, the US, South Africa & Namibia. Our main achievements include: Tony Elumelu Foundation Finalists/ Alumni, Anshiza Prize semi-finalists by the African Leadership Academy, and winners of the “Challenge of 1000 Entrepreneurs,” by the Africa-France Summit.

Thankfully we have a wonderful team which made this happen. Kuenda Digital has a vast team in Angola & Namibia, comprising of Project Managers, Designers, Videographers, Photographers, Marketers, Web Developers and an extensive network of freelancers & partners who ensure that all projects are launched on time & deliver the expected results.


Kuenda Digital Team Members.

What inspired you to start this business?

“Kuenda Digital emerged as a way of professionally respond to the high demand of companies who wanted to advertise their initiatives on Successcode.ao and its database.

From my passion about entrepreneurship and always eager to find solutions to problems, from the simplest things to the more complex ones, I joined my partners Luimar Silva and Daniel Neto to bring my finance know-how to this business venture and then we simply put the engine to start working.

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“The thing that I enjoy the most is helping those around me. As my own boss, I love to see others achieving their objectives either socially, financially or professionally. Being your own boss is caring about others.

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“Firstly, it is the flexibility and strength of our business model which enables us to bring the best talent to any project, then it flows from the manner in which our services are integrated, fast responsive times, data driven strategies, and we have a development division enabling us to launch our own digital products.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“Starting out as young and inexperienced entrepreneurs, we faced all kinds of challenges you can imagine. From the lack of credibility, business structure, managing work and studies. Nevertheless, I can recall that one of the biggest challenges we faced were access to financing, qualified professionals and mentorship.

Consistently investing in knowledge, being as close as possible to our clients for feedback, always testing what we have learned and participating in start-up competitions helped us a lot to get to where we are today – facing more complicated challenges, but at the end, overcoming them is what makes everything worth it.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Trust the process, even though you don’t understand it. Every step has its purpose.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“Taking advantage of digital channels has shifted from wanted to needed service for most companies’ survival. The pandemic accelerated digital transformation to such an extent that it may be hard for companies which are not fourth-industrial-revolution-ready to get out of it alive. So, I would ask “What are you waiting for to start your journey?” It’s a lovely industry and its value just keeps increasing. Today is better than tomorrow. Start now!”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“Networking is everything; that’s one of the things I tell most of the people around me. Invest in your networking. It can make you flourish, not only in business but in your personal life as well.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“We help businesses reach their target audience, leverage their sales and strongly position their brand. As they grow, we grow, and together we provide high tax-returns to the government, hire more people – that alone is everything as we believe that economic empowerment gives people freedom.

All our partners are involved in various local leadership & volunteering projects. Although we still have a lot to learn and a long way to go, we believe that using platforms such as Launch Namibia to share our experiences so far may be the push someone just starting or about to give up needs to continue pushing. In addition to that, I mentioned before about the partnerships we have with freelancers & other companies. This operates as a support network to help other companies flourish and increase their reach.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“Despite this pandemic I see a lot of start-ups growing, that’s wonderful. My recommendation would be that each entrepreneur evaluates their core strengths, watch for market gaps & convert their business ideas into live product/services as soon as possible. It doesn’t need to be perfect for you to start; all you need is a MVP (Minimum Viable Product), consistency & focus. By doing so, we are helping the start-up ecosystem to grow.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“The pandemic has definitely affected the economy worldwide. In our case, at the beginning of the pandemic we had to deal with an unexpected cut of more than 80% of our client portfolio. Unfortunately, this is one of the first investment companies dilute when things get tight. Things are slowly getting back on track as companies realize the need to develop and strengthen their digital approach as a way of getting through this situation.

Although we are natively digital, we were also forced to adapt, create new strategies, review our company’s budget & goals, renegotiate contracts & rationalize our expenses. There is so much going on, its key is to focus solely on what we can control or else we lose faith and the sense of direction.”


Email: hello@kuendadigital.com | ismenio@kuendadigital.com

Website: www.kuendadigital.com

Cell: 081 767 0591

Facebook/ Instagram: @kuendadigitalna | @ismdds

LinkedIn: Ismenio Pascoal

“If you keep moving forward you are progressing, even if it’s not exactly as fast as you imagined.”


Daryn Roberts is a qualified software developer, an entrepreneur and the owner of N!A Caps. Daryn grew up in Windhoek and completed his high school education at St. Paul’s College. He then moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Certificate in Business Computers and a Diploma in Entrepreneurship at Varsity College. Thereafter, Daryn went to the University of Cape Town (UCT) and completed a Business Commerce degree, majoring in Information Systems. After obtaining that degree, he further went on to obtain a post-graduate Honors degree in Information Systems, also at UCT.  His work experience began at an off-shore software development company, based in Cape Town. By building software for clients around the world, he earned his stripes in the areas of Quality Assurance, Business Analysis and Project Management.

Daryn and his wife, who is also from Namibia, then decided to move back to Windhoek in 2015, ready to start a family. Fast forward to a few years later, he is now the proud father of two beautiful daughters and he has been working as a freelancer & contractor in software development. In 2015, around the same time that he returned home, his passion as well as a potential niche in the market, led him to co-found what is now N!A Caps in 2015.

Tell us about N!A Caps, the products & services you offer and your team.

“N!A Caps is all about premium quality headwear. We sell premium brands of caps with our locally inspired designs (“Namibia”, “NAM”, WHK”, the Namibia Outline, etc.). I built a fully functional e-commerce store and all the caps can be easily browsed and ordered directly online. We also offer custom cap branding services for other brands, companies, sport teams, etc., using the same imported high-quality caps.

In terms of the team behind the scene, I started N!A Caps in 2015 with a life-long friend named Rowan Carstens. A few months later another friend, Dunja Berger, joined us as partner and she brought a wealth of marketing skills to the team. In April 2018, they both moved abroad and so I took over the business as sole owner. As it stands right now, it’s just me behind N!A Caps.

What inspired you to start this business?

“Being big fans of caps and cap culture, we really just wanted to make caps that we would wear ourselves. We were tired of the only quality ‘destination’ caps displaying NY, LA, etc., and wanted something more local. We then took a batch of our caps to a local City Market and the response was so incredibly positive that we decided to bootstrap the business and grow it from there.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“In high-school I had no clue. When I got to university, I started feeling like I wanted to be an entrepreneur one day, but also had no idea as to how or when. When I made the big move to come back home to Namibia I knew that I would try to start something, and that’s when the consulting and the caps kicked off.

It’s difficult to say what I enjoy the most, but probably the fact that what I do each day can vary so much, so things never get boring. It can get stressful, but never boring! In a given day or week, I could spend a number of hours doing consulting work, then I have to do some social media marketing for the caps, then work on a new range of caps, then process orders, then do some website maintenance, then do some strategizing, etc. I enjoy that.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“What sets the caps apart are the quality. I use premium brands of caps and they are finished off with top quality embroidery (flat or 3D puff). Everyone always comments on the quality of the caps and the fact that they have locally inspired designs also catches a lot of eyes.

I then also try to match that with a quality service. I think the little things can go a long way in creating a pleasant experience for a customer. Responding in a timely manner, being friendly and thankful, keeping customers updated when you say you will, etc. Also, with the online store, people can place an order from the comfort of their office or home and receive their caps the same day or next day, while also receiving automated and personal communications throughout the process. I think it’s important to ensure someone not only enjoys the product you sell but the process of buying it from you as well.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“I think the biggest challenge for me has been time. There is never enough time to do all the things you want and need to do! I’m still trying to figure out how to overcome this but I guess the main thing is to just prioritise on a weekly or even daily basis and try managing your time as best as you can.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Stay humble and work hard.“

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“Margins on caps are low so if you are coming in to try to make some quick cash, it’s not going to work. I’ve seen a number of cap guys pop up and disappear again quickly over the last few years; there are only a couple of us who keep at it and it’s because we are passionate about it.  We like seeing people wearing something that we created and the sense of community it fosters. Make sure your business is something you are passionate about – you should have reasons for getting into it besides trying to make money.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“I think the level of importance will obviously vary depending on the type of startup, but at the end of the day it will always be important for growth.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“It definitely feels like there is a growing entrepreneurial spirit in Namibia and I think it’s important to foster that culture and support each other. Some examples:

I have a good relationship with Lokasi Keps who also sell good quality caps; we send customers to each other depending on what the customer is asking for. I try to link up with Print Hoek3D whenever I can, to create 3D printed souvenirs to give to my customers. Leon Engelbrecht Design has some of my caps in their shop. I teamed up with NamibWear to open up a Pop-up shop together. I did a collab with Gweri Vintage Collection to make some epic N!A Caps x Gweri Socks. These are all small Namibian businesses trying to create and make things happen, and through this we support and promote each other, even if it’s just by way of tagging, liking & sharing on social media. I think it’s important and I hope more local businesses find ways to partner and support one another other. I will certainly be trying to find more ways to do so.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“Be agile and flexible. Try something and if it doesn’t work, adapt it and make improvements. If you keep moving forward you are progressing, even if it’s not exactly as fast as you imagined.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“COVID-19 hit us fairly hard, purely because of the timing of things. We had just opened the Pop-up shop and invested in that but due to the pandemic, we had to close the shop. Even though it cost us to close the shop, it’s also what we genuinely wanted to do as we felt it was more important to try help limit the spread.   It’s also impacted us in the sense that it’s clear everyone is struggling from a financial perspective and generally people have less money to spend on things like caps, which is completely understandable. With that said, there is likely to be an increase in digital adoption now. More people are willing to go online for things. N!A Caps has always had an e-commerce platform so I’m excited that more people in Namibia are warming up to the idea of shopping online.

In terms of combatting the spread, I’m not sure if this really counts but I had mask clips (aka tension relievers) 3D printed. The clips get attached to your caps and then the mask can be attached to the clips instead of sitting around your ears. I would then sell these separately or give them away for free when someone buys a cap. I think it’s important to wear a mask, and wear it properly, to curb the spread. I wanted to make the clips as they make it more comfortable to wear a mask by taking away the tension on the ears.”


Email: orders@nacaps.co

Website: www.nacaps.co

Facebook: Na Caps

Instagram: @nacaps / @dazz_roberts

Twitter: @NaCapsOfficial / @dazzyfaye

LinkedIn: Daryn Roberts

“Everything that is big once started small so you should never give up.”

Mwaalwa Justine Shikongo is a 21-year-old student and entrepreneur, born and raised in Windhoek. She attended primary school at Emma Hoogenhout and went on to matriculate at Windhoek Technical High School in 2016 . Mwaalwa is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Logistics & Supply Chain Management at the Namibian University of Science & Technology (NUST). Her academic and business aspirations are two independent aspects of her life but she believes that they could eventually align and work hand in hand.

Mwaalwa’s father passed on at very young age so she was raised solely by her mother, playing both parental figures in her life. In her own words, “That is how MJ Creations came to be and what it is now about.” She always wanted to be able to help and give back to her mother, as well as to make both her parents proud while honoring her late father’s memory.


Tell us about M.J Creations, the products & services you offer and your team.

“M.J Creations was named after me as the founder: Mwaalwa Justine Shikongo. I established the business in 2019, enlisting the help of an abroad supplier, and I currently own and manage it solely. M.J Creations specializes in customized products such as cellphone covers, plated gold & silver necklaces and bracelets, keychains, plated rings, pillowcases and gift hampers for specials occasions such as Valentine’s Day and birthdays. I offer my clients a chance to make their visions come true by creating products they come up with. As my business is still young, I plan on expanding in future by hiring fellow youth to help alleviate the unemployment rate.”

What inspired you to start this business?

“Spending most of my childhood and holidays in the village, I was exposed to business at an early age through my grandmother who runs a kiosk at home. She has inspired me to work hard to be able to afford the life that I desire. MJ Creations is a result of my imagination and creative personality. I turned my passion for giving special gifts into a business where people can now not only buy customized products for themselves but also for others. Being raised by strong black women like my mother has taught me the importance of being self-sufficient and independent.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“Being my own boss allows me overall creative control over my products & business, ensuring that I put out only the best. It gives me the benefit of being flexible with my time that way I can also focus on school, family and leisure. I have made a lot of mistakes earlier on, but have since focused on doing better and learning from failures as it is crucial for growth.

Did I always know I was going to be a business owner? Honestly not. I, like many other fellow Namibians, have always thought to do well in school, look to the government to get a good job and that’s it, which is why I credit myself for reaching this level of success in the first year for that matter. I do this for myself and I can only hope my actions inspire even just one other person to pursue their dreams and work for himself/herself.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“I work closely with my clients ensuring that I narrow down all their ideas into a solid, pragmatic product; my designs are unique; and lastly, I stress the importance of good quality & exceptional customer service. When you order a product from MJ Creations, you will be sure to find a friend in me as well. Furthermore, I pride myself on offering unique and infinite designs as per customer order, therefore no two products are the same.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“The obstacles I have encountered include delays in shipment (whereby the products do not arrive as scheduled), overbooking, and of course the global pandemic. It has affected me extensively by causing my business to come to a temporary but abrupt halt.

To combat these challenges, I had to make a few changes such as using a different shipment company, upgrading my packaging to improve customer satisfaction and I have set up a company website which provides a quick & easy way for customers to order. It also offers me consumer insight and allows for growth opportunities. Thus far the biggest challenge has been having to juggle being a good student whilst running a fast-growing business; to overcome this I have had to seek help from family members to help with deliveries and pickups. I credit myself as a strong-willed personality with the drive & motivation to succeed and keep going despite circumstances.”

What is your business philosophy?

“MJ Creations lives by the mantra ‘Dream it, we create it’

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“I would tell an upcoming entrepreneur that everything that is big once started small so you should never give up. As Oprah Winfrey once said, “You become what they believe not what they think or want.”; therefore, take the leap of faith and follow up your passion.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“Networking is crucial when starting a business; you need to interact with as many people as possible. Not only is it good for advertising yourself & your business, but it connects you with prospective mentors, partners & clients and provides insight into the latest industry trends. Networking also allows me to learn what type of people I am associating with and if they will add anything meaningful to my growth.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“Currently, M.J Creations does not employ anyone; however, it is in the pipeline to expand the team to include more people. I’d like to think that I am making a difference, even if it may only be within the circles of my family and friends, helping out with bills and so on – I am well on my way! Furthermore, every SME represents an opportunity to cut down on the scale of unemployment.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“All start-ups require a financial plan, a supportive background that will help grow the business, and of course confidence which goes considerably well with a focused mindset and self-discipline. Start-up owners should invest in themselves by attending business forums, reading books & being well-educated on how to run their business, and if possible, getting a mentor in the process.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“Most of M.J Creations’ products are shipped into Namibia and due to the pandemic & state of emergency lockdown, the shipping was moved from being delivered into the country via air transport to using the sea – that way I could still get my products in a timely fashion so as to not disappoint my clients. We decided to use FedEx and although it took longer than expected we managed to get all the products to Namibia. All products are shipped in tightly concealed plastic bags to avoid direct contact and to curb the spread of the virus.”


Website: www.mjcreationsnamibia.com

Email: info@mjcreationsnamibia.com

Tel: 085 205 0020

Instagram: @m.j_creations_ / @Mwaalwa_Mosante_Shikongo

Twitter: @MJCREATIONS7 / @Mwaalwa_Mosante



“Be persistent. Be consistent – and if you do not believe in yourself, how do you expect others to believe in you?”


Elzane Ludeke is a designer & entrepreneur who was born & raised in Namibia. She grew up on her family’s farm before moving to Windhoek to start school. Since primary school, Elzane knew that she wanted to become a fashion designer, drawing elegant dresses & costumes. Having grown up on the farm, she also had a love for leather since the beginning.

She went on to study Fashion Design at Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design in Stellenbosch. After graduating in 2013 as Top Achiever of the Year, Elzane was approached to pilot their very first 4th year specialization course, in Exotic Leather Accessory Design – comprising of theory for half the year & practical work in the relevant industry for the other half.

Her fashion career took shape when she started her practical work at Cape Cobra Leathercraft in Cape Town. After two months of interning, she was offered a job as a Product Developer for the next year. Unfortunately, she had some trouble with a work visa down the line but before she even moved back to Namibia, she was offered a job in Windhoek. On returning home, Elzane helped set up a factory & trained people to make leather handbags at a local company called Myeisha. She worked there for two years as a Designer & Production Manager. Those two years were what gave her the confidence & reassurance she needed to start her own company. In doing so, she fulfilled a lifelong dream, and I never knew I would be able to do it at the age of 27.

“It was a struggle to find a name for a brand which would hopefully be internationally recognized one day, but Amâna was a perfect fit at the end of the day. It means truthful in Damara, which compliments my idea & approach to the fashion industry. I always wanted a transparent, real brand. One which speaks to real, practical, working women of today and not only looks good on models in magazines.” And so, in 2018, Amâna was born.

Tell us about Amâna, the products & services you offer and your team.

“I am a one man show at this stage, managing everything from Design, Product Development to Bookkeeping & deliveries. Certain things I leave to professionals such as graphic design & photography. I work with an amazing photographer, and my best friend, Tara Mette who translates my ideas so beautifully by making the product come to life with her camera. I also work with Lisa Voigts, a graphic designer & illustrator, who designed my logo.

I design genuine leather handbags and have them manufactured overseas. I would love to grow & support the local manufacturing industry but having worked in the manufacturing industry I saw all shortcomings that we have here in Namibia, skilled labour & machinery being some of them. I also wanted to create a brand which produces higher quantities at international standards.”

What inspired you to start this business?

“My dad was one of the biggest inspirations to me. Since an incredibly young age I have been taught business in very practical terms of farming & managing cattle. These principles, I later learnt in life, are relevant to any business and if you understand them, you do not particularly need your MBA.

I also always wanted a brand which is true to myself & my view on the fashion industry –creating products which are unique & which I have always wanted but could not find in Namibia. My general love for leather & handbags, and my passion for innovation made it extremely easy to decide to start a business. I knew exactly what I wanted from it right from the start.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“I enjoy drinking a gin & tonic at 1PM on a Friday afternoon. As a creative and a designer, you sometimes find yourself in an almost writer’s block mindset and being your own boss allows you to manage your work according to how you feel. Times like those I focus on admin or financials, whereas some days you just want to be creative & feel inspired and you have the freedom to go with the flow.

It was not until I worked at Myeisha, doing anything & everything, and having the experience of basically setting up a company that I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I found myself enjoying the start-up and running a business more than I ever thought I would. It was then when I also started doing more online courses and reading more books about entrepreneurship. When I started my business and had more flexible hours, I joined the Future Females Windhoek team, which is a global female entrepreneurial movement. Being around other female entrepreneurs and start-ups is what kept me from giving up during the difficult times.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“My products are manufactured at a high standard & with specialized machinery compared to hand-made products in Namibia, which are just as beautiful but it is almost a completely different industry on its own and cannot really be compared. When it comes to South Africa, I have more competitors in the same field, making it slightly more difficult to differentiate my brand. Focusing on sustainability and slow fashion is crucial today and people are starting to realize the importance of buying quality over quantity, which is a massive advantage for Amâna.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“Every second day is a challenge, but then again, every other day is also a win.

To be honest, my biggest challenge was to have the right mindset. Having your own business is an absolute rollercoaster and you need to be prepared to fail, but you also need to acknowledge small (or big) successes. There were times where I had no work, and creating your own work is not always as easy as it seems, especially if you do not really know what you are doing. But being persistent, having a routine and taking care of your mental health first is key to having your own business. Your mind is your biggest asset, if you have the right mindset you can overcome any other problem and challenge.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Have confidence, even if you don’t know what you are doing.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“Be persistent. Be consistent – and if you do not believe in yourself, how do you expect others to believe in you?”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“Networking is at the very top of the list. One thing I noticed in Namibia, people are so afraid of competition that they avoid sharing ideas & knowledge. This is however changing, and people are becoming more open to collaboration. By connecting with leaders in the industry, who have already had their fails & successes, it can provide you with rich knowledge and you can learn from their experience in the field, saving you time and money.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“We have been working closely with manufacturers in the clothing industry in Windhoek, hoping to grow the fashion industry in terms of manufacturing locally and providing more jobs. This is however a long-term project along with another local designer, Conrad Prollius of Pinstripe Hippy. At this stage Amâna directly contributes to the society by sparking innovation & creation in young designers and hoping to motivate them to start their own venture where they can create more employment opportunities in the future.

We also have some exciting things planned a bit further down the pipeline where we would like to expand on the manufacturing industry and create a hub where local designers have access to these facilities and can start producing on a larger scale here in Namibia. There is a great demand to produce locally, but often the resources are not available or materials are expensive because it is being imported in small quantities. If we as designers stand together, instead of fearing the competition, we can create this opportunity of producing garments locally at an affordable price. This will uplift local designers, create job opportunities & boost the Namibian Fashion Industry as a whole.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“Focus on consistent and good quality. Know your own numbers. It is especially important to know what exactly is going on in your business, so do not leave the numbers just to the accountants. Familiarize yourself with absolutely every aspect of the business. If you have employees get to really know them as well. To ensure operations within your business are running smoothly, you need to know every problem that might occur & be ready for almost anything.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“Apart from losing sales during lockdown, I prefer to focus on the positive side of this pandemic. Since the start, my business was mainly run online. Being in Southern Africa, people are still hesitant to buy online and do not really trust the system. This was a great opportunity for people to step out of their comfort zones and start purchasing online. In terms of circulating information about COVID-19, we informed & educated the public and our consumers on the safety & convenience of buying online.”


Email: hello@amana.design

Website: www.amana.design

Facebook: @amana.accessories

Instagram: @amana_design

LinkedIn: @elzane.ludeke