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One Nation Fund Establishes Mentorship Programme

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

The ONE Nation Fund (ONF) Microfinance and Entrepreneurial Training Programme launched its Mentorship Programme on 23 February 2021 in Windhoek. The programme will facilitate the transfer of business knowledge, experiences and networks between 12 ONF micro-entrepreneurs and 10 seasoned entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Sem Mandela Uutoni, CEO of One Economy Foundation, indicated that “ONF was established to facilitate financial inclusion, improve livelihoods and contribute to enterprise development in Namibia. Globally, microfinance is a proven concept in breaking the cycles of poverty and building resilience.”

He further added that “the capital provided through ONF constitutes a revolving fund model. This makes the fund sustainable, as each loan repayment allows ONE to extend another loan. The number of micro-entrepreneurs who are successfully paying off their loans are a strong indicator that the fund is achieving its goal of creating an inclusive economy.”

The keynote speaker, Mr. Sam Shivute, emphasized that mentorship is crucial in building capacity and developing confidence which better positions entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses.

He advised participants to continuously innovate, connect with other entrepreneurs and ensure that their businesses are in good standing with legal and regulatory frameworks. Finally, he encouraged the participants to develop a deep sense of self-awareness as this would enable them to transcend from success to greatness.

ONF micro-entrepreneur and mentee, Mr Frederick Shipipa stated that “the event was very informative as I got a chance to take a sip from a deep well of wisdom from the mentors, I have high hopes of refining my business.”

ONF Mentor, Ms Diana Amunyela, applauded the One Nation Fund for initiating this timely and relevant event and indicated her excitement to contribute towards the growth and development of entrepreneurs. She further expressed that “the experience will be a great journey.”

The event ended with a networking session where the ONF micro-entrepreneurs expressed their gratitude to learn from the wisdom, experience and nuanced perspectives of seasoned entrepreneurs.

The ONE Nation Fund Microfinance and Entrepreneurial Training Programme (ONF) was launched in February 2018 and takes an economic development approach by providing affordable and collateral-free access to capital, free entrepreneurial training and peer mentorship. To date, the programme has provided interest-free loans to 46 micro-entrepreneurs to the tune of N$2.4 million. Our focus is on high potential micro-entrepreneurs who aren’t able to access finance through the financial system, thus this fund gives them a second chance. This philosophy is also evidence by the training opportunities offered by the fund at no additional cost to the entrepreneurs. It is important to note that given the default rate and the additional investments we make, the return may be below zero. A vital matrix for the fund is social returns, which are at the heart of why the fund was created.

Caption photo 1: Mentors and Mentees at the recently held One Nation Fund Mentorship Programme launch FLTR: Back Row: Michael Mulunga (Agri Business Entrepeneur/Mentor), Job Kazondjou ((JJJ Marshall Automative Enterprise cc / Mentee), Willesia Dorfling (Principal:Fowler House Private School/Mentor) Sam Shivute (Transformational Coach. Motivational Speaker. Business Strategist), Selma Nakale (Ndapandula Fashion Design/ Mentee), Leopold Nghiluamo (Leopard Eeno/Mentee), Paulus Shikwambi (The PhotoBooth/Mentee), Jolokeni Nambashu (Founder of Pepata Restaurant /Mentor) Fredrick Shipipa (MYM Munda Trading cc/Mentee), Hedwig Uuanivi (Heddie’s Trading Enterprises cc/Mentee), Pastor Carven Izaks (Fatherhood Foundation / Mentor), Front Row: Miina Shakale (One Nation Fund Programme Coordinator: One Economy Foundation), Sem Mandela Uutoni (Chief Executive Officer: One Economy Foundation), Patricia Hangula (Head Buyer at the Shoprite Group of Companies Namibia/ Mentor), Diana Amunyela (Quantity Surveyor and Businesswoman), Inga Boye (Tatsu Fashion Design cc/Mentor), Eunike Kuutondokwa (O.V Etuhole Pre-Primary School and Daycare/Mentee), Linnea Hazel Quinn (Financial Manager: Fowler House Private School)

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