The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has provided N$8 million to finance 28 rural youth enterprises.
The DBN cheque was handed to Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Emma Kantema-Gaomas to provide seed capital to 28 start-ups during a ceremony witnessed by the Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
Speaking about the significance of the initiative at the official hand-over ceremony Kuugongelwa- Amadhila said that the 28 enterprises are part of a wider initiative to provide funding to 121 rural youth enterprises.
She said funding for youth enterprises is an important component of Namibia’s goal to achieve sustainable development, under the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).
In addition, the Prime Minister added that the project aims to create 1,210 new, sustainable, permanent jobs.
DBN’s initial involvement consisted of Business Management training, for 407 young people from the 121 rural youth enterprises, an exercise that involved technical support to the tune of N$1.2million.
According to DBN the exercise also involved helping the youth identify potential business ideas and opportunities in their constituencies and developing business plans for such.
Subsequently, the Bank has made available to the Ministry of Sport, N$8 million to finance the start- ups of the 28 enterprises.
Speaking on behalf of DBN CEO, Martin Inkumbi, the Bank’s Head of SME Finance, Robert Eiman, said the Bank sees threefold value in the initiative.
“Firstly, the Bank has as one of its goals provision of finance for young entrepreneurs. The programme is expected to be a seed for the future of Namibia’s economy. Youth enterprise will be the pool from which it draws its future prosperity and employment creation.
He said the project supports the Bank’s current SME Finance and Investments sections, which provide skills-based financing to young professionals, artisans, and other young businesses and that secondly the Bank considers rural enterprise to be vital to Namibia’s future prosperity and food security. The recipients from rural constituency will contribute to the achievement of development effect in rural regions.
“Thirdly, the Bank is seeking to finance agri-processing, an offshoot of manufacturing, as well as agri-industry which supports agriculture. The agricultural roots of many of the enterprises that will
benefit from this initiative will foster secondary value adding to agriculture,” he added.
Development Bank has provided the technical capacity to initiate the programme as well as the funding. The disbursement and administration of finance for the 28 enterprises will be managed by the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service.