Windhoek 08 August 2021, Germany continues its support to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the Namibian economy in cooperation with the Namibian Ministry of Industrialization and Trade (MIT). The Pitching for Resilience (P4Res) Grant Programme is being implemented through the GIZ Namibia’s Promotion of Business Advisory and Economic Transformation Services (ProBATS) and the Association for Entrepreneurial Development (AED). The P4Res programme is a continuation of the Pitching for Recovery (P4R) programme executed in 2020 during which 192 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from all fourteen regions in Namibia received grants to recover their businesses from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The objective of the P4Res Grant Programme is to help SMEs maintain business viability, unlock new perspectives, and enable entrepreneurs to adapt to the constantly changing environment following the economic disruption and downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is achieved through providing business recovery and resilience grants which provides SMEs with relief and a lifeline for sustainability in the long run.
The entrepreneurship journey is full of challenges that range from operating on a month-to-month basis with limited funds, inability to build cash reserves, reduced customer base, etc. and the pandemic forced entrepreneurs to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding employees, assets, and overall business sustainability. The P4Res programme helps SMEs identify new product lines and guides on the introduction of value-added services in the firm’s offering, as a business survival and repositioning strategy by way of diversification. The focus is on existing businesses as there are numerous programmes that support start-ups and early-stage enterprises, but limited help is available for existing businesses.
The P4Res programme consists of 6 components:
A. Two regional rounds for SMEs,
B. Final round for SMEs,
C. Provision of an SME Toolkit to all 840 participants,
D. Onsite business registration and status regularization help for all 840 SMEs, registering for the first time or in default by the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA),
E. Post-grant allocation management process,
F. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of programme impact.
The layout of the 3-day programme includes presentations of diagnosed business problems, motivation for grant application as well as training by AED, on exploring business diversification strategies and introductions of new lines, followed by a pitching event.
The amounts granted to an SME and the number of grants allocated per town are not lower than N$6,000 or exceeding N$60,000. According to grantee Theuhill Veldtschoen, owner of the ‘VELDSCHOEN Waste Management Solutions’ stated, “Through the P4Res I learned how to diagnose a problem and identify challenges as well as diversification of income revenues and business growth strategies.”. Mr Veldschoen continued “Waste Management workers are contributing to the functioning of our society through taking to the streets daily to ensure that our waste is collected, sorted and recycled. The grant I received will help us pay the waste pickers, buy material for waste sorting as well as run the ‘Recycle from Home & get a Reward’ campaign”.
– NDN Staff