Entrepreneurs With Disabilities Seek Start-Up Loans

Twelve entrepreneurial students with disabilities who last week graduated from the Center for Enterprise Development (CED) presented their business plans to various financial institutions in the hope of obtaining loans to start their businesses.

During a ceremony at the Polytechnic Hotel School the students received their certificates from the National Disability Council of Namibia after completing a six-month entrepreneurial training course.

The students, whose disabilities vary from physical, visual and hearing impaired, are already entrepreneurs in their own right and operate in ventures such as carpentry, retail (mini-mark), plumbing, gardening, panel beating, mobile games, catering, teaching sign language, hair salon and barbershop, communication technology and printing.

Stakeholders from financial institutions that were present at the presentation were Leonora Joodt (SME Development: City of Windhoek), Bernice Karuhumba (Namibia Business Innovation Institute, Polytechnic of Namibia), Aune Hamukonda (Bank Windhoek) and Paul Egelser (Development Bank of Namibia).

The stakeholders aised students to be more committed towards their business ideas and emphasized the importance of business plans in running a successful enterprise.

Joodt also encouraged those in the retail industry to consider providing pre-packed meals for breakfast and dinner to target those who are too busy and don’t have time to cook. Furthermore, Kahurumba noted that students who wish to enter the teaching profession should obtain the necessary accreditation in order to operate.

Furthermore Egelser expressed some disappointment regarding the student’s business plans stating that “I didn’t see any business plan which included the provision of employment to other disabled people. I am saying that because it is one of the crucial things that we consider when providing loans.” He added that if the disabled cannot cater for their companions who else will prioritize their employment.

Source : New Era