Josephina Haimbodi – Namibia

Josephina Haimbodi – Namibia

Date: December 7, 2015
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A school-going survivor supports herself through Shantay hair and beauty salon

“My business gives me transport money to go to school”

Josephina is a single young woman and a grade 10 learner. She runs a service business which operate as a salon in Windhoek. She provides services such as hair braiding, dying hair and providing advices to customers. She started running this type of business in 2012 while doing her grade 8. She is still at school and continues with the same idea and she says she want to continue with her business even after completing her secondary education. Currently her business is her only source of income and she started it to be self-reliant. She says her business helps her lot, especially when she does not have money for transport to go to school. She feels that her business changed her life and she likes it because it is profitable.

Josephina developed a database of potential customers whom she always consults if they need services on a monthly basis. The database includes both young people and adults. She says she has a good understanding of the business environment as she grew up in Windhoek. She says she want her business to grow after she finishes her education and she will establish branches in other towns. Her ambitions are to create employment for many Namibians and to sustain herself. She has already carried out market research and the results show that there are potential customers who will support the business. She says her marketing strategies include sending smses and word of mouth advertisement. Josephina confirms that even though she is only generating a small income her business has improved her living conditions because she always has money and she does not demand too much from her parents.

As a young woman, she is very grateful to be one of those who attended the Gender Links (GL) entrepreneurship training programmes because she gained so much knowledge about how to manage the business. She says she provides her services on a cash basis to avoid problems with customers.

She admits that she is a lucky person because the training came at the right time while she is still doing her schooling. The training enriched her and she became more knowledgeable. She is happy because she is capable of making her own plans, budgeting correctly and undertaking the marketing of her services.

This young woman runs her business alone without equipment because she does the work with her own hands but the customer may need to buy some braids. Josephina’s future plans are to secure a loan from the bank to grow her business and give employment to young people. She says she is planning to register her business with the ministry of finance, ministry of trade and industry and the social security commission since this process will help her to operate legally and access finance.

Josephina says she is good at planning and this has improved her creativity in terms of managing her business and this process has helped her to perform very well, even at school. She is thankful for the transformation that has taken place through GL’s free training. She says that the training she went through was a life changing programme.

She is a driver of change because she survived gender based violence and became a start-up entrepreneur while she was attending to her school work. She set an example to other young women in her community.

Josephina says her most memorable experience was when she found that she was the only one doing business and she was considered to attend the national summit in Windhoek.



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