Failing should be even greater motivation

Encouraging the Namibian youth through entrepreneurship

19 October 2021 | People

Pull quote: “I didn't go back to school but I tried to establish the business and face all the challenges for standing alone being my own boss.”

Wetumwene Shikage

Martins is a 26-year-old Namibian entrepreneur born and raised in Ondangwa. He approached one of the most challenging phases in his youth which did not keep him down. His entrepreneurial executions began in 2014 when Martins was just 19 years old. He made a decision not to depend on his mother for any needs and started selling T-shirts. But he wanted to do more than just sell T-shirts and decided to make a name for himself. That was when he first realised that business was his thing.

Martins established the close corporation Ricco Design Investment in 2018. The business deals with printing services, graphic design, photography, videography, brand positioning, events management, marketing and promotions.

Community engagement

Martins says the company has been successful and has provided its services to large companies and schools, including Henning Crushers, Ondangwa Private Hospital, Namibia Private Ambulance, Oniipa Primary School and Shinime Shiivula Primary School.

“Since my business is still growing, the only way I can give back to my community is by sharing my skills and experience with my fellow youth that want to do business,” he said. He explained that he has a passion for conferring knowledge and seeing others win and thus he sponsors events and school sport tournaments when he is able to.

The young enthusiast says he has delved into this sphere and wants to share his experience and encouragement with the rest of the Namibian youth. He encourages the youth to create their own space and not believe that failure is the end of the world.

“We can establish businesses to take us further in our lives. Starting a business can help us to create job opportunities and reduce unemployment in our country.

There are many factors and obstacles faced when starting a business, but Martins says a lack of funds tops it all. People who take advantage of young people are also a major problem. “They tend to see young entrepreneurs and instantly want to make purchases on credit and exploit our business rights. These approaches require us to stand up for ourselves which often gets tiring.”

Martins added that it is difficult to balance growth and meet customers’ needs

“One day you’re celebrating landing a big client, and the next day you’re struggling to keep up with the new client’s needs.

“For small businesses, growth often comes with growing pains. In many instances, you have to make the choice between working long hours and asking your staff to do the same if finding alternatives becomes difficult.

“None of the two are a great solution. You ultimately have to find a way to grow your business without hurting your business.”

Encouraging the youth to venture in entrepreneurship, Martins says if you would like to do something, go for it. “Set a personal mission statement for yourself and stand your ground. It is not going to be easy but it is worth it,” he said.