NCCI leader demands assistance for SMEs

ONGWEDIVA: The Namibian business community appreciates business undertaking by foreigners, but it also expects the interest of the Namibian businesses to be on the forefront.

Chairperson of the Northern Branch of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Tomas Iindji said this on Tuesday during the Namibia Competition and Consumer Week held in Windhoek.

He said that in the colonial dispensation, South African companies, such as retail chains, posed a major threat to the Namibian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by deliberately hampering the SMEs’ growth and development.

“Today, Asian, European and other imports have added pressure on SMEs,” Iindji noted.

He suggested that the Namibian Government guard against the creation of an environment in which small operators are pushed out of business by transnational corporations who tend to repatriate their profits.

According to Iindji, nurturing small operators is desirable as they are labour intensive and possibly create and sustain more jobs than the larger business sector.

He pointed out that most of the unsuccessful business owners in northern Namibia feel that the lack of proper Governmental assistance is still one of the critical factors that lead to failure.

“The NCCI’s recommendation therefore is that the government should continue to come up with strategic measures, such as business incubators, which will prolong the survival of SMEs in our regions,” the northern Namibia NCCI leader stated.

Despite the problems associated with businesses’ success and failure, Iindji said it is evident that SMEs are crucial for the development of any given country as they offer benefits such as subcontractors for larger organisations, economic growth and employment generation.

“SME Compete, a company that is involved in the monitoring of SMEs, has once stressed the need for both the public and the private sector to help small businesses to grow into larger establishments,” Iindji said.