KEETMANSHOOP: Three small and medium enterprises SMEsthat participated in the Keetmanshoop Municipality Street Market Day in July this year, received monetary rewards from the town council on Tuesday.
Southern Gemstones received the biggest amount of N.dollars 2 000, while the Youth Garden Project got N.dollars 1 000 and Karas Huisen Craft, N.dollars 750.
The beneficiaries were selected from 16 SMEs that took part in the first Keetmanshoop Municipality Street Market Day.
A panel of judges looked at the businesses that have the potential to grow and create jobs for more people among other criteria.
Two more SMEs – embroidery and shoe-manufacturing businesses – were chosen by the Namibia Development Corporation NDCand will receive material and equipment next year.
These two businesses were selected by the NDC because the demand for their products exceed supply, and the owners show dedication and determination to grow their businesses.
Chief Executive Officer CEOof the town council, Paul Vleermuis said during the prize-giving ceremony that the initiative is aimed at marketing and supporting local SMEs to grow into big businesses and contribute to economic development.
He promised that through this programme, the municipality will finance trips for small businesses to participate in big trade fairs such as the annual Windhoek Agricultural and Industrial Show and the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair.
Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi, who also spoke at the event, encouraged entrepreneurs to diversify their businesses into big empires, saying there is nothing that limits them from doing so.
“Government is trying to help the people of the south, so grab the opportunity and build your businesses,” he said.
Swartbooi congratulated the winners, asked them to remain focused and wished them well.
Town mayor Moses Titus also encouraged business owners to expand their productions.
He said the council initiative is aimed at ensuring the success of SMEs in town, and therefore it should be taken serious.
The next Street Market Day will take place on 26 October 2012, and more exhibitors are expected to participate.
It is planned to be held twice a year.