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A talented fashion designer making a name for herself in the Namibian fashion industry Ndapandula Kashanu. With trendy and fashion forward pieces, Ndapcee is definitely a brand to look out for. Read below to learn more about her obstacles, challenges and future goals.

Q: What is the name of your business and what does it entail?

A: Ndapcee. That’s the name of my brand/business. Ndapcee is an upscale women’s clothing brand that sells sophisticated and high fashion ready-to-wear clothing, such as smart casual, contemporary/street and evening wear. The Ndapcee customer is a young sophisticated woman who lives a regular lifestyle but likes to look good and that is very experimental with her style.

Q: What motivated you to start your company?

A: I have always wanted to be a fashion designer for as long as I can remember but it all really started in 2015 when I presented my 2 graduate collections at the National Art Gallery of Namibia. A lot of people loved my work. The feedback I got was amazing; I also got offers from a few Namibian fashion businesses. That’s when I realised that there is indeed a market for fashion designers in Namibia and people are willing to pay for good quality locally produced garments.

Q: What challenges did you face when starting up this business?

A: One of the major challenges is the availability of fabric. We don’t have a lot of options when it comes to fabrics in Namibia. It is very difficult to get hold of good, affordable, and unique fabric. This is why you see so many designers using the same fabrics. It’s not lack of imagination, it’s because that’s all they can find. Sometimes I try to create my own textiles but that comes with its own set of challenges.

Secondly, Funds. Fashion is a business where you need money at every stage in order to make quality designs, to market and promote it.

Q: Final words of motivation for people looking to start a business:

A: You have to be focused on what you are hoping to achieve and be very dedicated. Whatever you focus on at any given point be it your design ideas or your business give it 100%. And most importantly, you have to believe in yourself.

 

 

In the spirit of promoting and celebrating local business in Namibia, Launch met Beatha Shitemba, managing member of Nels, a Namibian company which manufacturers and provides trendy and gorgeous bedding, designer fabric, hooded towels, nursing covers, plush toys and much more for babies and toddlers.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and what your brand represents? What challenges did you face when starting up this business? In your opinion, what needs to happen for Namibians to fully support local?

A: I’m the Managing Member/Owner of Nels. The company was founded in 2017. Nels manufacturers and provides the Namibian market with trendy and gorgeous bedding for babies and toddlers. Apart from bedding, Nels also sells designer fabric that customers can purchase and design their own tailor made bedding or accessories. Nels also provides essentials like hooded towels, nursing covers, plush toys and much more. All our gorgeous products are made from 100% cotton or muslin fabrics.

There are several reasons why I started Nels. Firstly, there is great potential in the industry, in terms of baby products manufactured in Africa. Secondly, our Namibian market does not offer designer baby bedding, kids bedding and related essentials. Thirdly, most of the Baby products we have in our country are imported.

One of the challenges that I faced is not having any funding. Financial aid from financial institutions can be very expensive for small start-ups. And at this stage, I don’t think our government has created an environment that is conducive enough for start-ups to thrive and grow.

Our country should limit imports and promote locally produced products or regulate foreign companies, who are trading in our country, in such a way that Namibian companies are given the opportunity to penetrate the market.

It’s rewarding being an entrepreneur. Apart from the rewards, of course there are challenges that are faced with each passing business milestone. These challenges assisted me in refining my business strategies and goals. Namibia has so many business opportunities. It’s not an easy task starting a business, but once the first step is taken, everything falls in place.

 

30 year old Dianah Namases recently launched her “Sage by Dee” wrist watch collection. She is the sole owner of SAGE Investments cc 2016/12768 and Launch Namibia’s entrepreneur of the week.

Read the article to find out more on this week’s entrepreneur.

Tell us about yourself and what motivated you to start your company?
My name is Dianah Namases, born and bred in Walvis Bay and I’m a Traffic Officer by profession and a mother to one amazing daughter “Nadine”, she is my strength and pillar. Well I regard myself has an incurable optimist, no matter how many negative things happen in my life I always transform them into positives and am loyally committed to a positive mindset.

My business is registered under Sage Investments cc and what motivated me to do a “cosmetic watch line” was the thrill and excitement on the idea of how the watches would look. My purpose is to live a life that’s of relevance, freedom, security, adventure, experiences and to be able to impact on my fellow beings whilst striving for the best through my “Sage by Dee” wrist watches which are COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK APPROVED by Business Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA).

I believe that every human alive has a purpose that goes much deeper than simply enjoying a career or the money that comes with it. The sooner you begin the process of discovering it, the sooner you can find more meaning and fulfillment in what you do or want to do.

Is there a market for cosmetic watches in Namibia?
I strongly believe that there’s a great market for cosmetic watches. All they have to be is branded properly, taking into account, the quality, fashion or style of the watches. My watches are aesthetically pleasing, giving of a Namibian fell to them as they have the designed names of the Namibian diversity towns, hamlets, regions, villages and lodges on them. I strongly believe the cost of my watches are fair enough and regardless, Namibians should support local.

Final words to those looking to start a business:
To anyone who wants to start a business, look at the work you have done before, and think about ways in which you can package your skills and offer them as your own services and products. “DO WHAT YOU KNOW”.

But at the same time learn about other businesses that interest you. Once you have identified a business you like, emulate it. Business planning also improves your chances for success. A business plan will help you gain clarity, focus, and confidence. As you write down your goals, strategies and action steps, your business becomes real.

THEY OFTEN SAY “THE SKY IS THE LIMIT” and maybe it is or maybe it isn’t… But whatever the case maybe, one has to decide what their limits are and how far they are willing to go in their journey. Be different in everything you do. The most important thing at the start is to make sure you really believe in what you are trying to achieve and that you are solving a problem worth solving.

 

Nancy Shafa is a Graduate from The University of Science and Technology who holds a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Currently, she is employed at (NWR) as a Sales Consultant. In addition to all the great accomplishments she is a co-founder of the newly registered Prestige Beauty & Photography.

Read more to learn about Launch Magazine’s entrepreneur of the week

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and what your brand represents?
A: I am the co-founder of the newly registered Prestige Beauty and Photography cc. The business has been in operation for about 6 months now since registration. Prestige offers makeup services for all types of special events. Mainly corporate, weddings, Baby showers matric proms, graduations, birthdays, Baby showers photo-shoots, Music videos etc. Additionally, photo shoots, makeup classes and makeup gift vouchers are also offered. Soon Prestige will also introduce a branded cosmetic line.

Q: What motivated you to start your company?
A: As a young girl I was always interested in beautifying products and anything that had to do with grooming one self. As a hobby 2 years back I started as a facial Model for one of the known and best Make-up artist in Windhoek named (MUA Stacey). I then became so fascinated by the whole beauty industry. I discovered the art in makeup and photography was a good way of capturing its beauty. The increasing need and demand for professional makeup artist in Namibia also triggered my desire. I had a greater vision for the industry and with the current economy one cannot survive on one source of income alone. It’s rewarding being an entrepreneur at a tender age and we all look forward to a better future.

Q: What challenges did you face when starting up this business?
A: My biggest challenge was finding finances, as a sole owner I had to provide starting capital; time was also never on my side especially with my demanding full time Job. I would feel the pressure taking all the responsibilities alone. Finding people with common goals and interest to work with is still a challenge. The make-up and photography industry is not like any other industry it is mostly about new trends and keeping up with what clients want. One has to be on the edge of new trends and ideas continuously. It requires constant marketing and networking. Finding a market was a hustle in the beginning.

Q: In your opinion what needs to happen for Namibians to fully support local?
A: The government should make it a priority to first opt for local products and brands before considering imports. That way we support local products and brands. We are so dependent on foreign products and brands that we do not fully trust local product. Another way to support local brands and products can be done through more brand awareness and marketing. Furthermore, local producers should price their products considering the local market. Entrepreneurs should focus on producing their products, brands and services with high quality.

Q: Final words of motivation for people looking to start a business?

A: Trust yourself and never doubt what you are capable of. You will only know how tough you are until you have tried. Follow your passion and never underestimate your hobbies. Those are usually the areas in which you will excel. Seek advice and mentorship from those who have experience, set short-term and long term goals with due dates. Greater things are achieved from small beginnings.

 

This week Launch Magazine Namibia celebrates the owners behind the popularly known Monochrome Magazine, an online magazine which also hosts events that celebrates Namibian brands and fashion culture such as The Great Pop Up. Read below to learn more about the dynamic duo Betty Sibeso and Disney Andreas.

Q: Tell us a brief background about your company?
A: Monochrome Magazine after years of conceptualization was finally started in 2013. We registered as a business in 2014. We however only started releasing content in September 2015.
Initially Monochrome was meant to be a print publication but due to lack of funds we went online. We recently launched our website and are trying to push out as much content as we can. Not only do we work on the online magazine we also host events that celebrate Namibian brands and fashion culture such as The Great Pop Up. We also help with brand activation, marketing and content creation.
Monochrome Group is run by Betty Sibeso and Disney Andreas.

Q: What motivated you to start your company?
A: At the time, our fashion and creative industry was growing so well but there was nothing to show for it. There wasn’t a platform “cool” enough or modern enough that celebrated our industry, we wanted to create that. We wanted to look at our own fashionistas, fashion designers, and artists for inspiration and not have to run to ELLE or the Cosmopolitan.
We wanted to celebrate our own greatness. This is why Monochrome was started.

Q: What do you feel is holding back the youth from venturing into the SME sector?
A: From what we have experienced and observed from our youth, start-up capital is one major contributing factor that has crushed so many great ideas to get off the ground.
Lack of innovative ideas is also on our top list we feel is holding back our youth establishing their own businesses. This is something that cannot be stressed enough. As a nation, we need to see and experience new ideas from our creative out there. Look at it this way, think of something we all need and nothing has been done to fill that gap. That, in itself, is creating/introducing a new idea.
Also, the fear of your business failing should be something we need to stop thinking about. Take a chance and see how it will be accepted into the world. But remember, when you think of doing something, do the best you can, pour your heart out and believe that whatever you’ve put out there is something worth going back to.

Q: Give final words of motivation and encouragement for those looking to start a business.
A: Never give up on your dreams. Even if you encounter obstacles, use them as a learning curve and make sure you use them as a building block to your great wall. Stay inspired, stay informed and learn to take risks because we are pretty sure there is someone out there with a life changing, game changing, out of this world business idea that will certainty put Namibia on the map.

“If you are doing something great, we’ll be watching and we will tell your story.”- Monochrome

 

The Story behind “Ndeuyeeka Investment”, a transportation and logistics company.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself?

A: Norman is a young man that hails from Ohangwena Region and grew in Ongwediva. “I am an ambitious young man that dreams big for his country”. Norman is also the Speaker of the Namibian Youth Parliament and Representative of the Youth at the Inter Parliamentary Union: Forum of Young Parliamentarians African Board. As well as a Political Science Student at the University of Namibia.

Q: What is the name of your business and what does it entail?

A: Our business name is the family surname, Ndeuyeeka Investment Group. Our core business is Transportation and logistics. We also run a consultancy that focuses on Leadership and capacity building for corporate and SME companies. To fast track our operations we have also opened a printing and design shop for corporate uniforms and identity designs of companies that are struggling to get noticed and recognized with a unique look. Furthermore, we also recently added a trade to our group to supply office furniture to companies that sign up with our Consultancy services. Ndeuyeeka Investment Group also recently acquired a 9 % share in a South African SME Company that supplies printing equipment and materials to a number of printing shops in Namibia.

Q: What challenges did you face when starting up this business?

A: Well like most black owned SMEs in Namibia, the most problems that we encountered were     getting funding and trust in the industries we chose to operate. Another challenge was the stereotype that a young black owned businesses always underperforms once awarded a contract or job. Other challenges that we faced included lack of parental support from our care givers and often their priorities were set at us finishing school and graduating before anything else. We also encountered a huge loss at the beginning of our business venture as we were not properly mentored and coached on the basics.

Q: Final words of motivation for people looking to start a business?

A: To the all of the people out there with the desire to start up a business, they should know that it’s one thing to start a business and the other to run it. Financial literacy is key when it comes to a successful running of any company. It’s also crucial to highlight the importance of employee and employer relation as this is often what breaks a lot of companies. It is also important to note that loses in the business world will always be there, hence the saying entrepreneurs take the risk. One set back should never allow one to give up but to work harder and make a comeback twice as hard. Let us just not register companies for the sake if registering them hoping to get tenders someday. As young people or business people in general, let’s fight for each other rather than against each other. Lastly as a business owner it’s imperative that you’re educated and encourage all your employees and staff to study further.

“It takes time, sacrifices and dedication to make it work. If you want to own a business it’s now or never “–Norman Ndeuyeeka

Photo credits: Francis Photo Studio

 

 

We catch up with the young vibrant entrepreneur who has a passion for renewable energy, Mr. Wapale Kalla.

Q’s: Tell us about yourself and what your brand represents. What motivated you to start your company? What is the future in terms of solar systems in Namibia?

A’s: My name is Wapale Kalla and I am the Managing Director of Sunrise Solar Solutions CC. I was born and raised in a small town called Oranjemund, and later moved to Windhoek where I completed my primary and secondary levels of education. I then completed a Bachelor Degree: Electrical Engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. I am in the final stages of completing my second Bachelor Degree: Project Management.

I own and manage my company which deals with the production and supply of renewable energy solutions. The focus however is in the field of Photovoltaics (Solar). We provide Solar Home Systems, Solar Boreholes, Solar Street Lights as well as Solar Geysers. My company represents the dawn of endless opportunities and aims to uplift the living conditions of all Namibians that we interact with. We prize itself on providing quality goods and services to our clients at all times.

The reason for creating my own company was based on two reasons, namely; becoming an employer and empowering others in so doing, and secondly the feeling that I could better contribute to the development of my country as an entrepreneur as opposed to working for someone else.

We are fast approaching the renewable energy age in Namibia. With the amount of sunshine we receive in Namibia, we are slowly starting to explore this energy source. We could however do much better as a country by reducing our dependency on non-renewable energy sources. Solar is the way forward, and as a country, we are developing at an impressive rate.

My words of encouragement to aspiring entrepreneurs would be to identify a market, study it and give it a good go. Hard work, sacrifices and persistence pay off in the end. There are some days where you might feel like giving up, but keep going. Success is a mile away, so when you make it, remain humble.

This week’s Entrepreneur of the Week goes to the spontaneous and energetic Estee Solazzi who owns a business in Namibia called Tan on the Run Namibia

Q’s: What is the name of your business and what does it entail? What challenges did you face when starting up this business? What makes your business unique? Final words of motivation for people looking to start a business?

A: My business name is called Tan on the Run it is a trademark name that started in Canada 10 years ago by our CEO Ms. Nicole Hyatt and is now franchised throughout the globe. We do organic spray tanning where you can get a spray tan anywhere. “Why would you have a tanning company in Namibia?” people ask, however the answer is simple, we live in a country where it is not ideal to be in the sun to get brown as we have many cases of skin cancer. This is where my idea derived from. We had no one in Namibia doing mobile tanning. No one had an organic and vegan product and those who did have the tanning solutions only had solutions that make people turn orange.

A: Startup capital was my major challenge but through the help of my lovely husband we could get it all together and I haven’t looked back ever since. It took sacrifices and challenges to make the decision to start, but I had to take the leap, for if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here telling my story.

A:My business is unique because it is the first certified mobile organic spray tanning company in Namibia, anybody else who has a company like this in Namibia came after me. Tan on the Run is an International unique brand that no one can get except a Tan on the Run Franchisee. We are 42 ladies across the globe and I am the only one in Namibia. If anyone tries to do any tan it is definitely not an organic brand as ours. Our brand is vegan, hypoallergenic, pregnancy safe and it makes your skin brown not orange like most tans. Our ingredients are all plant based ingredients, it is also on our website: www.tanontherun.com

A:Tan on the Run were the official spray tanners for the movie X Men Apocalypse and we have tanned various celebrities, Natalie Sexton, Cheryl Hickey, Karl Wolf, Kate Beckinsale from Total Recall just to name a few. Tan on the Run is also now the official spray tanner for the World Beauty Fashion and Fitness Worlds that will be held in Namibia on the 7th October 2017. Tan on the Run also tanned at the Dome 2016, Nucleus Bodybuilding 2016, Shemeen Classic 2017 tanned Ilka Rae Adams, IFBB WP 2017 tanning the Namibian team in Cape Town, Dome Classic 2017.

We have franchise opportunities available throughout Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, and Angola.

A: Never give up on your dream. Life is too short to sit around and wonder “what if”. My business started at the right time and because the industry is such a ruthless industry you have to keep the good bonds you make with people. I wouldn’t have been able to have such a reputation if it wasn’t for the wonderful clients who became friends, who became family. I thank the Lord for the doors that he has opened for me.

 

Meet Tangi Nakanduungileh, a talented 26 year old microbiologist by training, founder and Manager of Tangi’s Cakery.

Read the full article to learn more about Tangi Nakanduungileh and her love for baking.

Q’s: What is the name of the business and how did you develop a passion for it? What challenges did you face when starting your business? Why do you think SMEs fail? Any words of motivation?

A’s: My name is Tangi Nakanduungileh and I own Tangi’s Cakery, a home based cake shop based in Windhoek. We make and decorate novelty cakes and other yummy treats like cupcakes, macaroons and cake pops.  I started my business in 2016 after I left my job to pursue my master’s degree. During that time there was a point where I had some free time on my hands and also looking for ways to make a little income. I have always loved baking, it was one of my favorite things to do growing up. There was a lady who made cakes that was offering a 3-day workshop for baking so I decided to attend. There she told us about how she had also left her job as accountant and decided to enroll in culinary school. She had persevered and started her own business. To be honest I had always been very independent. I like being my own boss, so I thought to myself…if she could do it, then so can I. I started spending a lot of time online just learning all the cake decorating techniques and that is how I got started. I doubted myself at first so it was more of a hobby at first because I didn’t think I had what it took to make such pretty cakes, but as it turns out…I do have a knack for it.

A’s: It was hard getting people to trust that I could make beautiful cakes for them. The first few months were spent making cakes either for free, or for very little money. I spent that money on buying the basic materials needed to make cakes. I was making no money at all. I had to improvise a lot of the time, but I kept working at it and my hard work paid off.

A’s: To be honest, most SMEs fail because of lack of capital. This leads to most of us getting jobs and abandoning our dreams.  That aside, most Namibians tend to complain about unemployment without considering the fact that we can’t all be employed by the government. We need business people to start businesses so they can employ other people. The economy is in our hands. Many people undermine aspiring business people because they feel like they are not capable of doing the job well. But our country is full of many brilliant minds with amazing ideas. If only the more successful business men and women could invest in these ideas, it could boost confidence in SMEs.

A’s: It is not going to be easy. You have to work tirelessly until your money starts working for you.  Also, customer service is key. Be polite and always make the client feel special.

Tila Iyambo, a 24 year old owner of Tila’s Investments, which includes a hair salon, car wash and catering business is Launch magazines feature.

Read the full feature to learn more about how she successfully does it all.

Q: What is the name of your business and what does it entail?
A: Tila`s Investment cc is a fully owned Namibian business. It offers a wide range in various sectors which include hair salon services, car wash services and catering services.
Tila`s hair creation’s and Salon- sells Brazilian hair, Indian hair, Peruvian hair 100% human hair and much more . We also sell all hair products to meet you hair needs. We want to make your salon experience as memorable as we can. Tila`s car wash provides quick, convenient and friendly car wash services. Enjoy a car that makes your car look brand new whenever you drive it with our cleaning service performed with tender and loving care. We operate 7 days a week. Saturday and Sunday’s being the best time to wash your car while enjoying the delicious plate of food and beverages from Tila`s catering and live music from local dj’s. Tila`s catering delivers high quality catering and services for all your catering needs, be it a corporate function , private dinner or wedding we got you covered.

Q: What challenges did you face when starting up this business?
A: Being the visionary: As the founder of my start up, I was expected to come up with the ideas. When a competitor emerges, it was my responsibility to come up with a response plan. When my team hits an impenetrable obstacle, my job was to come up with an alternative dealing with the unknown: How long will my business exist? How profitable will my business be? Will customers like my product/service? Will I be able to give myself a steady pay cheque? None of these questions have a solid, reliable answer, when you start up. Rule-making: It’s fun to be the boss until you have to enforce something. I had to come up with the rules for my business, from how many vacation days for my workers to what the proper protocol is when filing a complaint form about a co-worker. These details aren’t fun to create, and they aren’t fun to think about, but they are necessary for every business. Decision-making: Believe it or not, this is probably the most stressful challenge on this list. New entrepreneurship forces you to make hundreds of decisions a day, from big, company-impacting decisions, to tiny, hour-affecting ones.

Q: Do you find the industry that you are in competitive?
A: Yes, it is competitive! To stay on top, I constantly plan my strategies so that I can keep my customers satisfied, keeping tabs on your competition is a great strategy for growing your business.

Q: Final Motivation for people looking to start a business
A: Do not worry about failure, failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to start that counts. Be hard working, persistent and loyal.