…Founder shares insights on maiden mini exhibition
THE inaugural Swakopmund mini expo, a platform that has been created to showcase local SMEs, takes place from September 27 – 29 this year at the new multipurpose centre at the town. In view of this exhibition, Confidente’s Business Editor, Hilary Mare (HM) sat down with event organiser and founder, Nangula Nashandi (NN) to establish more regarding the event.
HM: Give us a brief overview of the Swakopmund Mini Expo
(NN): The SME expo which takes place this September caters specifically for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This will be a first of its kind for Swakopmund and Namibia as a whole, as we will only be catering for SMEs who manufacture, design or have created a Namibian product and those that have invested their talents investing in their own diverse service industries. This will also be a platform that we aim to use to showcase the potential we have in Namibia and create possible business relationships and expand our scope for innovation.
(HM): In your view, how is this event crucial for local SMEs?
(NN): We have many expos that take place during the year in Namibia but unfortunately they cater for the big corporates and private companies and organisations that have massive budgets. However, our expo is focused only on the SME’s that are continuously contributing to this economy but have not been afforded the opportunity to showcase themselves.
(HM): What do you hope to achieve with this event?
(NN): We wish to attract a sufficient amount of diverse SMEs that are in the service or manufacturing sectors and are exploring new markets in the Erongo region and Namibia at large.
(HM): How is this event different from other expos?
(NN): There is no expo like the SME expo in Namibia. We are solely focused on our local, talented entrepreneurs that are working for themselves in this difficult economy through diverse innovation. We are also the only SME expo to have a mobile app registration process thanks to one of our sponsors, Loop Technologies and Gadgets Namibia.
(HM): What criteria is there for participation, for both SMEs and other envisaged participants?
(NN): We have no strict criteria. We are looking at diverse SMEs that are in manufacturing or offer services such as nanny services, accounting service, marketing services, beauticians or even cosmetics innovators. The manufacturers must be manufacturing using locally enhanced recipes and of course we would also be open to our corporate companies that are boosting our SME sectors such as FNB (SME finance), the Ministry of Industrialisation Trade and SME Development and other key stakeholders. We do not discriminate; if you own it you can exhibit it.
(HM): Apart from the exhibition, what other activities are lined up for the Expo?
(NN): We will have conference seminars that will take place on the 27th and 28th of September 2018. At these, we will have our sponsoring organisations speak on crucial topics that will enhance the businesses of our local participating SMEs.
(HM): What are some of the challenges you are facing in putting together the event?
(NN): We are still lacking certain sponsorship approvals that are crucial to the success of the event. However, we are very optimistic and are pushing for these to come through and we trust that with our expertise, the event will be a true success.
(HM): How is the expo designed to prolong for many years to come?
(NN): We have thus far secured sponsor ships that will be running for two years plus. In that sense, we wish to secure more sponsors to come on board to expand this uniquely designed exhibition expo.
(HM): Is there anything else you would like to add?
We wish to invite all the stakeholders to come on board for this expo as its not only mine, it’s yours and its ours…come one come all, come support our local exhibitors.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015