Government moves to abolish barriers hindering SME growth

Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo says government is scaling up efforts to remove constraints that inhibit entrepreneurship activities and the growth of small businesses into medium- and large-scale competitive enterprises.

He encouraged entrepreneurs to make use of existing business opportunities and incentives the government has put in place in order to grow their businesses further.  

Alweendo said the onus is on entrepreneurs to continue to develop their entrepreneurial skills to remain competitive. 

"I encourage true entrepreneurs to take advantage of the business opportunities and incentives that the government offers," he said this while addressing patrons at the 18th edition of the Tsumeb Copper Festival.

Alweendo said Tsumeb has the potential to become Namibia's focal point for agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and innovation. 

"This means that the town offers various avenues for entrepreneurship. I encourage local and national entrepreneurs to take advantage of these opportunities. The government will continue to strengthen its efforts to ensure the expansion and enhancement of SMEs. In this regard, more emphasis will be made on encouragement and provision of funding and market support," he said.

"As you may well know, one of the challenges we have in our country that stands in the way of rapid sustainable economic and industrial growth is the acute lack of social capital, specifically that of entrepreneurship skills. The majority of our graduates are very much wanting in this area. Moreover, there is a prevalent belief that only the government can afford to distribute jobs. 

"Not only is this wrong and infeasible in a country like ours where limited financial resources need to be deployed in the most efficient manner, but it is also impossible to imagine the country sustaining economic growth with a balance sheet that is heavy on government expenditure. But most of all, without true entrepreneurial development by most of our youths, the kind of socioeconomic development and equitable distribution of wealth that the government is very keen on achieving cannot be realised," Alweendo added.

Moreover, the Minister noted that the country’s pace of industrialisation will be stunted without the required entrepreneurship and enterprise development.

He said entrepreneurship development is not only essential for the creation of massive employment opportunities but also the most reliable driver of domestic industrial development. 

"In this respect, I strongly urge our youths to engage in entrepreneurship activities. Tsumeb Copper Festival is not merely a celebratory event, but it is an important public gathering that brings together entrepreneurs. This festival provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their products to various visitors, as well as create an environment for new business ideas and partnerships. These efforts contribute positively towards poverty alleviation and employment creation," said Alweendo.


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