Ten graduate from ODC entrepreneurship programme

28th March 2018
ODC entrepreneurship graduates Source:The Midweek Sun

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By Keikantse Lesemela - Reporter


 Okavango Diamonds Company (ODC) held its second youth entrepreneurship graduation on Friday. The annual programme, which is a partnership with Stellenbosch University, has seen 10 youth graduating this year. Speaking during the graduation ceremony, ODC CEO, Frik Landman urged the young entrepreneurs to be creative and innovative so that they can benefit from the diamond industry. Landman said entrepreneurs should keep learning to develop their skills and understand market trends. “As an entrepreneur you have to go out there and look for relevant information.

I urge all our graduates to have courage to keep pressing until they succeed, entrepreneurship is about being determined to win no matter the rejections or disappointments,” he said. The programme was established in 2016 with the aim to empower young people and allow citizens to participate in the diamond industry. Landman explained that the graduates were taken through seven months of intensive training and were challenged to develop their business ideas. “Each student was challenged to conceptualise their business idea and present it to the panel of industry leaders.

Through this training programme we are sure that we have equipped these young people with skills and ideas to come up with solutions to the industry,” Landman said. ODC Board Member, Dr Khaulani Fichani said entrepreneurship is one of the key inputs in economic development, as it will help the society to combat unemployment. “The country has ventured into diversification of diamond value chain. We now have cutting, polishing and retailing. There is great opportunity for entrepreneurs and the youth.

They just need to be creative and innovative,” said Fichani ODC has invested over P2 million in the programme in the past two years. One of the gradauates, Totwana Tito Chimbise said she is empowered by the programme to become an entrepreneur. “I am a physiotherapist by profession but through the knowledge and skills I acquired from this training I am determined to become an entrepreneur and be a solution provider in the diamond industry,” said Chimbise. Bonolo Phaladze said the training has enabled her to identify her strengths in business operation and she is now going to collaborate with other graduates. “As an entrepreneur you have to know your co-anchors in your business. I have identified two other graduates within our team and we will work as partners in the business that we started through inspiration from this training,” she said.




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