Business Skills for Communities

A BUSINESS skills workshop was recently held at Onkugo Ye Pongo Community Centre in Okuryangava, where more than 20 men and women participated in the engaging session organised by the Change 4 Change Initiative (C4C).

The workshop brought together small scale business men and women from the community who run small scale development projects within their communities.

C4C Initiative is run by the Koi International Worship Centre, a Windhoek based church. The workshop featured engaging presentations on basic business skills, budgeting, professionalism and communication as well as various options of securing funds. The communication and professionalism session focused on client service and how to communicate effectively in a business environment.

“The aim is to empower people who want to change their circumstances, by giving them the information and skills they need to do so,” says Tanya Amey, Missions and Operations Manager at Koi International. With a view to offer community based people the basic information to either get started or to improve the way they manage and carry out their business, C4C put together a programme that catered for the direct needs of profit and non profit ventures.

With a focus on non-profit ventures, Charles Lobdell from the United States Embassy offered information on the self-help grants, which are aimed at funding small scale community development projects.

“We are interested in innovative projects that benefit communities, especially those that target vulnerable people. The projects should be sustainable and really well-planned.” He pointed that applications for the small grants are evaluated based on their sustainability and the impact they have on communities.

He also shed light on the PEPFAR grant which is specifically for initiatives aimed at uplifting people or groups affected by HIV-AIDS.

For the more business and profit oriented ventures, Edward Kangandjela from SME Bank gave an overview of what financing products are available for small businesses and individuals. He emphasised that not all loans require collateral and that repayment terms are favourable for small business owners.

“I am in the construction industry and hope that maybe I can get better direction in making my small business more successful and we also have a kindergarten, so the information was very helpful”, says Abraham Kamure who attended the workshop.

C4C plans to hold more sessions that will be focused on offering guidance on small scale community initiatives and furthering the objective of helping people to help themselves.

Source : The Namibian