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Saturday 17 August 2019
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The self-taught entrepreneur

otis-investmentGifted is he who has the knowledge of using his hands to feed his stomach.
 
After fruitless efforts to get financial assistance from both government and private sector, Joseph Ortmann refused to set limitations to his dream and today, he is one of Rundu’s young entrepreneurs with a narrative centered on perseverance.
From humble beginnings or rather nothing, Ortmann used every bit of his talent to make a living with almost everything he could do. This publication found the young business mind at his workplace which consists of a studio and a computer room – all achieved in eight years.
 
With the studio, Ortmann and colleagues do video work, graphic design, radio jingles, CD printing and other studio related work. What makes Ortmann stand out from many of his peers in the same line of business is that he does not have a specialized qualification to his name on the things he does.
 
“With everything I know, I never went to school for it. It is just something I learned online. I started with Microsoft publisher before taking on Adobe Photoshop. Once you get to know a software, others become easy and so it goes,” said Ortmann.
Other skills like that of welding and bricklaying, Ortmann was fortunate to have a brother in the same line of work that he learned from attentively.
 
Narrating his hustle from the beginning; Ortmann says all he had was his room where he worked from and a flash drive on which he stored all his work. At times when he needed more software, he would go to the library to download such that he keeps himself educated. And already from the scratchy days, his business decisions were top-notch.
 
“Whatever little money I got, I invested it in equipment. It started with a hard drive to a laptop that made my work easier.”
 
Today Ortmann operates from an office he built himself and it has become a hub for almost every service that society needs. The business mind opened up a centre that offers basic computer studies and office administration which he teaches himself to the youth of Rundu at a relatively affordable cost.
 
He acquired additional computers from the National Youth Council of Namibia as a boost to grow his business recently. This festive season, he will be offering computer lessons to UNAMs student teachers. He also boasts of helping a few local artists record and prints their CDs with him.
 
“I realized that I needed to have a professional work environment in order to establish trust with my clients. The place which I now have is still new and business is motivating. As we are speaking, this business gave me a piece of land where I will go build even bigger structures.”
 
While business seems to be going smooth for him, Ortmann maintains that it is difficult for his peers to prosper in business especially with the lack of financial assistance and basic business knowledge.
 
“In Kavango, it is difficult to get help. I do not know what they look at but I guess you need to be connected. Personally, I am really no longer a person who seeks for support from the government because I have tried when I was limping but I never got the help. So I used every little resource at my disposal to help build myself.
Today, Ortmann is the sole head of Ortiz Investment with a team of other young people who complements the business with a wide range of skills. He emphasizes heavily on the importance of having a dedicated team as another way to not only succeeding but raising high with other young people.
 
With the obvious sad realities of his town such as unemployment and inadequate tertiary career choices, Ortmann calls on the youth to stand up and do something productive for a living.



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