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Let’s Talk Women Power – The Namibian


BRITAIN’S new prime minister Liz Truss is the third female to hold such lofty political office in that country’s history.

She founded her political party’s Free Enterprise Group, and Truss is an economic libertarian and a known advocate for an entrepreneurial economy with few employment regulations.

It is early days yet, but Britain’s entrepreneurs must be rejoicing.

Now there is a prime minister who won’t just listen to calls for a more business-friendly environment, but one who plans to accelerate the pace of creating one.

Giorgia Meloni is a ‘sister’ who heads the ‘Brothers of Italy’ political party in her country.

Surveys indicate that Meloni is the front-runner to become Italy’s next prime minister in the upcoming general election. If successful, she will be that country’s first female prime minister.

Details on Meloni’s economic thinking is scant, but when campaigning, she constantly reassures Italy’s business sector of her support.

Reportedly, Meloni is already searching for experienced and credible technocrats to help overcome the country’s multiple economic challenges once she is voted into office.

Women have, and in future more will, make their mark in politics.

Not so well known, is that for years now female entrepreneurs have performed well in business.

Here in Namibia too, but more about that later.

Are entrepreneurs born or made?

Asked differently, is entrepreneurship embedded in nature or is it created by nurturing?

For decades, researchers have grappled with this often-asked question. The answer generally falls on both sides – nature and nurture – in equal measure.

Some pundits convincingly argue that entrepreneurs are born. Others liberally and persuasively share their conclusion, which is, entrepreneurs are made and not born.

One must question why the research on the makings of an entrepreneur is so important.

Methinks it’s a waste of time, with resources better and more productively allocated to researching what ignites that spark, and how best to foster entrepreneurship.

I see no value in philosophising, and consider it better to focus on nurturing an enterprise culture as far and as wide across Namibia as possible.

And then where and whenever possible, to work with entrepreneurs by supporting them in starting or growing their businesses.

The success of women in politics is topical abroad, and in Namibia. What is not well known and infrequently publicised, is how well Namibian women do in business. It already starts at local level in a community, with the entrepreneurship spark often ignited by a desire to provide better for the family.

That they are thriving in business should not come as a surprise, as women possess many of the character traits so necessary in business. From working with entrepreneurs countrywide, one finds that women are inquisitive, innovative, focused, serious, considerate, cautious but risk-tolerant, frugal, persistent and decisive. Character traits all too often missing in men.

Economic growth must be entrepreneurial driven, from the grassroots up, and from what I see first-hand, women are up to the challenge. The downside is that reluctance to do business away from home in another town or region.

Few female entrepreneurs grow businesses beyond their domestic market, but let’s examine that in an upcoming edition of my column.

* Danny Meyer is reachable at [email protected]


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