Martha Tiboth – Namibia

Martha Tiboth – Namibia

Date: November 23, 2015
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Tses Retail Dealer, a source of livelihood for Martha Tiboth

“This business has changed my life and I am now economically empowered”

Tses Retail Dealer is the name of the business initiated by Mrs Martha Tiboth. The business is trading as a retail shop selling different types of braids such as Brazilian, Indian and human hair. The business also sells other products such as nail paints, hair spray, fabric nails and glue for nails. Customers of the business are teachers, school children, visitors and the community of Tses. Martha grew up in Tses and she understands the business environment of the village council very well.

The business is run by one employee and N$25 300 was used to start this particular business. It is enjoying support in the local market because of its unique products. The business is registered with the ministry of finance, ministry of trade and industry and social security. The business is located at the heart of Tses central business area to allow ease of access to potential customers and improve its visibility in the community. Martha hopes that the business will eventually self-promote or market its products but meanwhile she is giving out business cards, brochures, and using word of mouth to advertise. Martha understands the local environment and she has good communication skills with potential customers.

Martha says she was lucky to be included in the entrepreneurship training phase 1 and 2 which taught her a lot about drafting business plans, budgeting, recording of transactions and basic bookkeeping. She is very grateful that the training Gender Links Namibia provided to her for free helped to turn around her business fortunes. She started to realise profit and growth exponentially. She says that writing her “I” story helped heal the wounds and was very therapeutic psychologically. She says the programme she has attended so far has taught her to be very innovative.

Martha is a driver of change because she is a living example of a woman who bravely survived gender based violence (GBV) to become a successful entrepreneur with the help of Gender Links. She is an inspiration to many women in her community and has vowed to preach against GBV to other women and men. Although she is not highly educated, she intends to conduct market research to see the potential for growth in her business. She is looking forward to employing more women as her business grows and her merchandise diversifies.

The business will be legally insured by independent insurance companies involved in different types of services in order to address external effects that might cause the business to close. Securing registration with the relevant ministries will make it easier for the business to be used as collateral when borrowing more capital from the bank.

Ms Tiboth says her potential customers are community members and can be reached via cell phone or by directly approaching them. She already has a database of potential customers. She has moved from selling her merchandise in her house to renting a shop provided by the council of Tses. She credits Gender Links Namibia for exposing her work to the council hence enabling her to demand working space from the relevant authorities.

Martha`s most memorable experience was when she won an award at the national summit in Namibia.


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