Chinese online retail markets attract young Namibians to start businesses

(Xinhua) 14:34, November 12, 2022

WINDHOEK, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- As Namibia struggles to tackle youth unemployment, some young Namibians have found relief in selling goods ordered from China and establishing lucrative businesses.

Selling everything from mobile phones, hair extensions, and clothing online to customers across Africa, Hilaria Amunyela has grown her client base from a very small number in 2018 to thousands currently.

"When people look at this order-with-me business, they think it is small but if you are good with finances then you can go far. You need financial discipline and know how to market," she said.

The young lady has managed to establish herself and her online business, making her one of the youngest self made-millionaires in Namibia, a title she is modestly proud of.

The journey to becoming a millionaire has not been an easy one for the human biology graduate, who recalls the blood and tears involved in owning a successful business but says she is grateful for all the lessons she has learned along the way.

Growing up in a small village in northern Namibia, Amunyela had big dreams but never imagined that at only 22 years of age, she would become a self-made millionaire through her company, Explicit Gadgets, a business that specializes in ordering goods from China for resell in Namibia.

"I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I just did not know how to or where to start," Amunyela said to Xinhua.

As fate would have it, the young lady found an opportunity to study in Zambia, a move which later turned out to be the step she needed to make to achieve her business dreams.

"Being in Zambia opened my eyes because they have very big markets where you find all kinds of goods which are mostly from China. They live and breathe a culture of buying and selling and that was my biggest motivation," she said.

Her dream was big but she knew she had to start small so she initially would buy clothing from Zambia at a lower price and would resell in Namibia which allowed her to slowly build a name for herself and also save towards bigger purchases.

For a while, this worked until she lost goods worth over 3,000 U. S. dollars when they were confiscated by customs over a misunderstanding with the driver she was using to transport goods from Zambia to Namibia.

"I was devastated, I am still trying to get my goods back but life goes on, I guess time heals all wounds," she said.

She started researching and asking friends who are students in China to help her order goods and decided to take a risk and used the internet to look for suppliers.

"It sounds easy but it is not. through research and networking, I ended up establishing a network of trustworthy efficient suppliers," she said.

Once she had established a supply chain in China, she hit the ground running and has not looked back since then.

With online shopping booming in Namibia and the rest of the world, Amunyela established her brand on social media and used her digital marketing skills to market her business which has grown exponentially in just a few years.

"I am on every social media platform, aggressively marketing myself. When I get clients, I do my very best to make sure that the service I provide is excellent and that they always come back to order again," she said.

What has worked well for the young lady is the speed at which her goods are delivered from the time that she orders which she credits to her prompt suppliers who are always professional and deliver on time.

Amunyela encourages other Namibian young people to make use of the booming online shopping industry and establish their businesses.

Every year on November 11, China celebrates Singles' Day, which is the world's biggest online shopping event that lasts two weeks where e-commerce giants attract buyers with big discounts hoping to end up with record-breaking sales.

Singles' Day, now officially called the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, has skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade. According to reports, sales exceeded 139 billion U. S. dollars last year.

Beyond selling, the young woman has trained other young Namibians hoping to maximize the opportunity. The training she offers covers how to order and pay for goods as well as who to order what goods from.

"I struggled to get such information so I am in a way empowering my peers so that they do not face the same problems that I faced. I wish I can help more youth for employment and start their own businesses," she said.

(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Hongyu)


Related Stories