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An exploration of entrepreneurship potential among rural youth in Namibia : the Arandis village

April, Wilfred I.
Fields of Research
Background: Entrepreneurship potential amongst rural Nama youth should be considered a courageous idea to enhance the motivation and development of the community. At independence in 1990, Namibia developed its own economic and youth policies which were drafted in alignment with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which address concerns about the role rural young people, can play in their own communities. Theoretical Background: This paper explores the role of indigenous entrepreneurship as it pertains to development amongst rural youth in Namibia. It considers the cultural context within which entrepreneurship takes place. To identify and understand the cultural context, the study draws upon the theoretical frameworks of Geert Hofstede, specifically his continuum of individualism/collectivism. The need to continually incorporate new aspects whilst consciously maintaining the traditional, reflects a key African concept, that of "Ubuntu" (unmuntu ngumutu ngabantu). Methodology: An empirical investigation of rural youth in Arandis village was conducted. To explore the significance of entrepreneurship, culture and the notion of Ubuntu in Africa, a comprehensive study of stakeholder views at both a community and national level was also carried out. These investigations were guided by questionnaires, in-depth interviews (supported by story-telling), playback national radio interviews, a panel discussion and a review of Namibian policy documents. Analysis of data also explored practical initiatives and possible forms of enterprise which could contribute to the creation of opportunity for youth in Arandis and in Namibia. Findings: The major findings of this thesis are that: entrepreneurship in Namibia is defined by participants and stakeholders as the efforts made by an individual in accumulating the necessary resources to benefit the community; rural young people in Arandis are potential entrepreneurs (illustrated, by the strong passion they showed to be role models in their community and their strong sense of cultural identity).