youth

For years, Aina Ndina, a 27-year-old Namibian youth had struggled to find a job.

After unsuccessful efforts to secure a permanent job, she turned to creative and events management to earn an income.

Business24

A start, she said, was propelled by affordable Chinese products sold at China Town, an industrial shopping center with stalls that sell imported products from China in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek.

After successfully organizing her first baby shower event, she started advertising her business.

“Since the start of my business, I source all items needed from China Town. Prices are low, and one finds a range of decorative items at the same place, which saves one much time,” she said on Thursday.

Products sourced from China Town include fabrics, cutlery, gift packs and decor items, amongst others.

The 2019 First Quarterly Trade Statistics report by the Namibia Statistics Agency shows that China is one of the countries where imports to Namibia were generally sourced.

According to Ndina, Chinese products have been instrumental in the success of her entrepreneurial venture.

“I am able to meet my clients’ demands with a reasonable budget regardless of the theme and magnitude of the event, and still make a profit for business growth,” she added.

Ndina belongs to a growing number of young people in Namibia, who lend on Chinese products to generate an income and foster entrepreneurship.

Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation Erkki Nghimtina said that Namibia is battling the unemployment among the youth, which stands at 28 percent.

To date, the business has grown as news of her unique event hosting services spread.

“Being a regular at China Town puts me in an advantageous position. I know what new products of interest to my business are in stock, and I premier them. Moreover, with that, I offer my clients a unique hosting, which has helped me expand,” said Ndina.

Ndina is not the only one. China Town has become a destination of choice for other budding entrepreneurs.

Nelly Imms, who lives in a small town in the Oshikoto region in the northern part of Namibia, has been seeking ways to supplement her income. A friend introduced her to China Town in 2017, where she identified a business opportunity.

“I buy bags from China Town and re-sell at the small town, at a premium,” she said.

In a town where executive accessories are a rare commodity, business, Imms said, has grown over the years.

“I have since made contact with the Chinese business people who run shops at China Town, to inform me when they get new stock,” she added.

The bags are growing popular amongst town dwellers. Clients such as Ella Angula said the Chinese items re-sold by locals in her area had impressed her with improved quality.

“In the past, China Town was known for low-end products of poor quality. However, one can tell that they now sell quality products, which has built credibility amongst those of us who buy bags from Imms,” Angula said.

Elias Shetu trades with Chinese-imported products such as toys and small accessories.

“I cater to the younger generation by selling toys. Children love toys, and parents are usually seeking for cheaper options that I source from China Town and re-sell. Business is going well,” he said.

For Shetu, business is about going to where clients are.

“In addition to the car boot and door-to-door sales, I also participate at local trade expositions,” Shetu added.

In the meantime, traders said they have high hope for business growth, as long as the Chinese products are at their disposal.

According to Shetu, plans are underway to set up a shop at a local village in Oshikoto region where he will sell products sourced from China Town.

As for Imms, she plans to diversify products offering to include textile as well as clothing- all to be sourced from China Town.

Meanwhile, Ndina is underway expanding her events management venture to two other towns in northern Namibia.

“I also wish to create employment through Chinese products, which drove and catapulted me into business in the first place,” Ndina said. Enditem

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