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 Region.

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 rural communities
  • 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.

Fish-4-Business: Concept Shop
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 families.

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 training.

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.

Fish-4-Business: Partners
Erongo Marine Enterprises
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
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 Maasbanker brand.

Oceana Namibia
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 Compete
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 growing business.

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.

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