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Entrepreneur of the week

Kapana in Town by Efraim Shivute

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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

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