I AM GENERALLY concerned about the fact that there appears to be a growing belief that living off tenders is a profession. What concerns me most is that the general populace who have grasped this belief is our young men. I am increasingly finding men aged between 18 and 30 who believe that in order to be successful, one has to apply for tenders, if one knows the right people at the top, get the tender and in a blink of an eye, a luxury vehicle is bought, a polo shirt here and there and more zeros than my mind can compute on his bank statement. This is becoming the norm.
With this norm, comes the encouragement of our youth, especially young men that education might actually not be necessary and that instant riches can be a reality.
Our young men have seen enough “successful” tenderpreneurs in order for them to conclude that education is not a vital and beneficial part in building oneself into a successful person. In fact, I have heard some say “it will just slow me down”.
Tenderpreneurship paints a picture of instant wealth and riches. It depicts glitz and glamour that is attractive to the eye but sadly is also short-lived.
An entrepreneur is defined as someone who organises and manages a business and does this at a financial risk. This is what I would like to see the young men of Namibia aspiring to be. To see a niche and using their expertise and hard gained knowledge, build businesses from the ground up, to satisfy that need.
Fundamentally, risk is part of business not to mention failure, the aspect of slowness and good old-fashioned hard work. True entrepreneurship encompasses developing something from nothing, which is a process and often a slow one.
The business that is built over time requires know- how and team work which again is not very typical in the modern version that is tenderpreneurship.
My apprehension with the popularity of tenderpreneurs is that it gives young men false hope that business is easy and money comes fast.
Only for them to be disappointed and completely disillusioned when the tender is not awarded to them resulting in them falling out of any long-term business endeavours. There is a distinct difference between tenderpreneurship and entrepreneurship. Choose the right one.