Etosha Fishing has partnered with Erongo Marine
Enterprises in its flagship corporate social development programme called
Fish-4-Business, which was officially launched in Okahao at the weekend by the
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Bernhard Esau.
At the same occasion the first of the Fish-4-Business
concept shops was launched in the Onandjila Village near Okahao in the Omusati
The Fish-4-Business project, done in partnership with SMEs
Compete, supports small business entrepreneurship in rural Namibia through
empowerment and skills development, enabling shop owners to grow their business
whilst creating and sustaining jobs. This directly contributes to poverty
alleviation, increased local fish consumption and food security.
“As I have noted numerous times before, a team effort is
required in our fight towards the enhancement of food security, poverty
alleviation and the improvements of livelihoods, especially within the rural
communities as these are often the most poverty stricken areas. I am therefore
delighted to see the group effort by Erongo Marine, Etosha Fishing and SMEs Compete
in making this a reality,” the Minister said.
The total investment by Erongo Marine per rural shop
includes a walk-in cold storage unit erected on-site, in-store display fridges,
scales, improvements to the actual shop including a fresh paint job and
branding, as well as a start-up “capital investment” in the form of frozen
horse mackerel for resell by the shop owner. A donation of canned Efuta Maasbanker is made by Etosha Fishing.
In addition to this, each shop owner is given the
opportunity to undergo specialised SME business training provided by Namibia’s
revered SMEs Compete, a consultancy renowned for assisting small and medium
enterprises grow their business to create wealth and employment.
The total capital injection by Erongo Marine per shop is
in excess of N$ 300,000.00. This excludes the costs related to the business
training programme, which is also sponsored by Erongo Marine.
The Fish-4-Business project is uniquely different from
other fish selling projects initiated by industry partners in the past in that
it focuses on small business owners in rural communities, giving them the
opportunity to not only empower themselves through the selling of fish, but
also through specialised SME business training.
The project aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Contribute to
increased food security in Namibia’s rural communities
- Contribute to poverty
alleviation through sustainable small business development in Namibia’s
- Skills development of
rural small business owners through formal training
- Promotion and
increased consumption of local fish and fish products across Namibia
“Efforts such as these go a long way to ensure that
Government is able to demonstrate its effectiveness in contributing to food
security in the Republic of Namibia. And in doing so, we are also continuing
efforts to turn a predominantly meat eating nation into one that demands a
healthier and more affordable alternative source of protein in their daily
diet,” the Minister said.
Cuca shops selling liquor is a common site all over
Namibia, especially in the North. In rural areas where job opportunities are
hard to come by, these shops often provide the only source of income for many
However, not all cuca shops only sell alcohol. For Taimi
Amukwaya, owner of the small Fish-4-Business shop located in the Onandjila
Village, the provision of basic foodstuffs to the roughly two thousand
residents in her surrounding community is a vital service.
She started her small shop in 2005 and not long
thereafter required financial assistance to expand her growing enterprise.
Unfortunately, securing financing through formal institutions proved to harder
than expected. Despite numerous attempts and applications to various financial
institutions, no one was willing to assist.
Her dilemma is not unique and highlights the need for
small business support and development in rural Namibia. Through a stroke of
luck, her plight came to the ears of Erongo Marine and the Fish-4-Business
project was born.
Instead of just assisting Taimi with her business, Erongo
Marine decided to expand the project into a sustainable small business
empowerment project, which was dubbed the Fish-4-Business project.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, Erongo
Marine decided to partner with the venerable small business consultancy firm,
SMEs Competitiveness Consultancy. Better known as SMEs Compete, they specialise
in small and medium enterprise (SME) business skills development and
Through the combined and coordinated efforts of both
entities, selected small shop owners are afforded the opportunity to undergo
business training and skills development in order to grow their respective
businesses, increase revenues and generate more employment.
Small shop owners across Namibia will soon have the
opportunity to receive the same treatment as Taimi Amukwaya. In early 2016 the
Fish-4-Business project will launch a nationwide search for promising rural
shop owners to become part of this project. Details will be made available
through the media.
The Fish-4-Business project was initiated by Erongo
Marine Enterprises (Pty) Ltd as its flagship Corporate Social Investment
programme. It also supports various other rural schools development projects.
Operating under the Oceana Namibia banners, Erongo Marine
is a leading player in the global seafood industry, supplying top-quality sea
products to African markets.
The company is based in Walvis Bay. Since 1990 it has
achieved a reputation as a credible, stable and preferred supplier of mid-water
pelagic fish, procured and processed to international standards. The main
target catch is horse mackerel. Erongo Marine is the second largest employer in
the Namibian horse mackerel industry.
Etosha Fishing Corporation contributes to the
Fish-4-Business project with a donation of its own locally canned horse
mackerel product, Efuta Maasbanker.
A sister company of Erongo Marine and also subsidiary of
Oceana Namibia, Etosha Fishing Corporation is a leading player in the Namibian
fishing industry and considered to be one of the foremost round can production
facilities in the world.
Etosha Fishing is the Namibian home of the iconic Lucky
Star canned pilchard and also cans Namibia’s own horse mackerel under its Efuta
As umbrella company of Erongo Marine and Etosha Fishing,
Oceana Namibia is indeed living up to its core purpose of being Africa’s most
efficient converter of fishing rights into value through the Fish-4-Business
project – value that is being felt in the most rural parts of Namibia.
Incorporated in 1918, Oceana Group is the largest fishing
company in South Africa, and an important participant in Namibia’s fishing
industry. It is listed on both the Johannesburg (JSE) and Namibian (NSX) stock
exchanges. In 2015 Oceana was rated the most empowered listed company in South
Africa for the 2nd year running, an achievement never accomplished by any company
before. (Mail & Guardian’s Most Empowered Companies ranking).
SMEs Competitiveness Consultancy (Pty) Ltd is a
consultancy firm that helps Namibian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow
business, create wealth and generate employment.
Better known as SME Compete, its primary objective is to
improve entrepreneurial, management, marketing and information technology
skills of SMEs. To help business owners overcome challenges typically
encountered during the course of conducting business, SMEs Compete has developed
an array of services focused on capacity building, skills enhancement and
More than 700 SMEs around Namibia have already benefited
from SMEs Compete’s capacity building activities and mentoring services and the
number continues to grow.