Another exciting feature for Launch Magazine. This week we feature a dynamic lady, owner of Epupa Driving School, Johanna Ferreira.
Read below to find out about this week’s feature.
Q: What is the name of your business and what does it entail?
A: The name of my business is EPUPA Driving School cc registered in 2015 and offers learners license and driving license lessons at affordable rates. I named my business EPUPA after the waterfall that is 180km from the north western town OPUWO and its one of the best tourists attraction place in Namibia because of the unique culture of the Ovahimba people living in that area. As an Accounting and Entrepreneurship teacher by profession in Opuwo, and having to walk my talk and encourage my learners as I was their role model, I spotted an opportunity for driving school need in Opuwo after having to struggle with getting lessons for my driver’s license in 2014. My Target market was the people from Opuwo and business became even better when EPUPA was one of the invited guests at the Inauguration of the Road Authority NATIS One-Stop Centre in Opuwo as this meant more customers flocking in from other towns in search for driver’s license.
Q: What challenges did you face when starting up this business?
A: Lack of Capital was the main challenge. I needed a proper car for the driving school and was using my old 2nd hand Car which later started giving me mechanical problems so i had to sell it. I approached my bank for a business loan and instead they asked for a collateral. Oops! That was a slap in my face, luckily my personal banker advised me rather to take a Car Loan and with that I bought the much wanted Chevrolet spark used for that for driving school purposes. Another challenge was finding an area to do the training for driving lessons as the Opuwo Town Council doesn’t have available serviced land to offer for businesses and so we used the air strip which is sometimes a challenge in rainy seasons as one can’t do parking’s lessons on a wet land.
Last but not least; a driving instructor. This job requires a patient person and it’s not easy to find one.
Q: The industry that you are in, do you find it competitive?
A: I had to move back to my home town in Windhoek to pursue my master’s degree and yes Windhoek’s market is HOT, competition is tough. You have to be marketing your business in order to stay alive on the market otherwise clients forget you. I advertise on my Facebook page Epupa Driving School and mostly in the Namibian Newspaper on Fridays.
Q: Any final words of motivation for people looking to start a business?
A: What I want to tell my fellow Namibians especially women in business and those wanting to start business, it’s not an easy thing. It’s tough especially with economic status of being sometimes good and sometime down, one has to be really patient.
“Rome was not build in one day”. Entrepreneurship requires perseverance, commitment to your dream, patience. Keep on pursuing. Never give up!