The Business, Enterprise and Livelihoods Working Group is a voluntary association of business and enterprise development specialists from NGOs and Government Ministries that work collectively to support conservancies and communities in Namibia to develop and improve business enterprises.
The BEL WG comprises a loose alliance of smaller sub-groups which each focus on different enterprise sectors or opportunities - such as tourism, joint ventures, hunting and natural products. The sub-groups operate through meetings and workshops which are held as often as required. The full working group - with all sub-groups - holds a feedback and planning workshop at the beginning of each year.
In 2009, CBNRM activities in Namibia generated more than N$42 million: 82% from conservancy-related activities, 18% from other CBNRM activities. In 2009, 57% of conservancy income was derived from tourism lodges through joint venture agreements; 16% was earned from trophy hunting.
There is still enormous potential for conservancies and communities to generate income through establishing and developing successful businesses and enterprises. However, communities typically do not have the necessary skills and knowledge to fully realise this potential.
The BEL WG is addressing this need by identifying income generating opportunities through tourism and business planning, training, the creation of market linkages and the development of appropriate tools, methodologies and support material including:
- Promoting Diversification
- Tourism SME Guidelines
- Enterprise Performance Monitoring systems
- How To guidelines (e.g. how to develop a cash flow system, develop a sustainability plan)
- Business Training for conservancy committees
- JV Guidelines
- Expression of Interest document (template for JV investment)
- JV Agreements (templates)
- Financial Models for JV agreements (spreadsheets showing possible scenarios)
- JV training for conservancy committees
- Process for using community equity funding
- Process for developing conservancy business and sustainability plans
- Development of national CBNRM enterprise targets
- Lodges and Small Enterprises (Joint Ventures, Camping Sites, Traditional Villages, Tour Guides,Tour Operators, Cultural Groups)
- Small Miners, Conservation Farming
- Trophy Hunting, Own Use Game, Shoot and Sell
- Craft production
- Farming, market gardening, chilli production
- Poultry production, fish harvesting and ranching
- Firewood, poles and timber production
- Bee keeping and honey production
- and more...