To create a strong local clothing industry, one should also finance clothing outlets where people can buy, according to the Development Bank of Namibia. The local apparel manufacturing industry is in its infancy, but the success of franchises retailing youth clothing has shown that there is a demand for well-branded and highly targeted outlets that can cater to the needs of Namibia’s youth.
Knowing this, DBN paid close attention to an application for finance from local youth entrepreneurs, Hosea Angula and Vaino Ashipala, and their business plan for a youth-magnet outlet, ‘Urban Legend’.
They received a DBN loan for stock and working capital and the partners used their own financial resources to visit and secure agreements with suppliers in South Africa and other parts of the world. Although Angula and Ashipala intended to focus on Namibian brands in their early planning, they found that local brands are not yet strong enough to cope with the high demand. They plan to develop and stock Namibian brands in future.
“Since January the store has been taking care of itself, so while we’re not making a profit yet, we are breaking even, allowing us to take care of operational costs, which includes salaries, marketing, stock, training and searching for investment and supply opportunities in markets outside Namibia,” Angula said.
As Urban Legend currently has four employees, who work from Monday to Saturday, Angula and Ashipala run the store by themselves on Sundays and use the opportunity to keep in touch with the store’s customers.
“I am the thinker, Vaino is the implementer and we complement each other. I read and he is streetwise. He knows what is going on in the streets. I do the business plans and presentations, and he meets with suppliers in South Africa to negotiate and create business for us,” said Angula.
Advising other would-be entrepreneurs, he said: “Take your dreams, turn them into goals and create a business plan that will help you realise those goals and grow to be a success. When one door closes, continue looking for another one to open to help you achieve your goals.”