"Through leverist.de we came into contact with a very exciting and suitable company that we would not have reached through traditional channels such as newsletters or internet research. - Christina Pfandl, GBN Namibia
Almost half a year ago we started the GIZ-wide roll-out of leverist.de. Many GIZ colleagues are interested and have asked us: How does a match via leverist.de work? Christina Pfandl from the Global Business Network Programme (GBN) in Namibia has been using leverist.de from the very start. As the Coordinator of the Business & Cooperation Desk, which intends to strengthen the links between the German development cooperation and the private sector in Namibia, she has published 15 business opportunities over the last months. We met her and asked her to share her experience on leverist.de:
Christina, you published quite some business opportunities for companies in Namibia on leverist.de, how did it all start?
"Before I left for Namibia in spring 2019, I heard about leverist.de from colleagues in Berlin. Because I like to try out new things, I asked them to explain to me how it works and got started – there is nothing to lose!
That's for sure! And what was your experience – did it work out for you?
"Yes, it all happened very quickly! In mid-October we had an interesting match with an entrepreneur from Germany. She is selling sustainable products from developing and emerging countries to several hundred “One World Shops” in Germany and connected with us via the platform.
What business opportunity was she interested in?
"In this case it was about semi-precious stones. As GIZ in Namibia we support the Namibian Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation and SME Development in the further development of the value chain for semi-precious stones. Our aim is to support Namibian miners and craftsmen who produce the jewellery. This includes the distribution of the gemstones to Europe."
That sounds like a match! What happened next?
"Within two to three weeks we had the first talks. Through colleagues in Germany the entrepreneur was able to view the jewelry collection and got interested in the shipping and distribution of the semi-precious stones. Currently, she is negotiating with her customers to take up the collection in their shops. If they are interested, she will begin the distribution!
Well then, we very much hope that the customers are interested! (Laughs)
"Yes, in fact we were also in contact with the company regarding other products. Hand-woven carpets, (natural) cosmetics, craftsmanship and the like, perhaps a cooperation with the entrepreneur can be established here as well".
So would you say that leverist.de was helpful?
Yes, for first information the platform is very good because it attracts people! Especially in this case. Through traditional channels, newsletters, contacts or internet searches we would never have found the company - and the company probably wouldn't have found us. And it seems to be a very good fit for both sides! leverist.de also gave me an easy way to attract companies in the region: I can quickly share my opportunities through my personal networks via email, LinkedIn or Twitter, which has proven helpful."
Have you uploaded any other opportunities on leverist.de?
"Yes, among other things we are looking for companies with innovative technology for reusing surplus sheep wool and processing biomass from invasive bushwood. In autumn we also had a tender process online. Now the Global Business Network program even has its own leverist.de subpage where we can present all our opportunities at a glance".
We are glad that it works out well for you. Thanks a lot Christina and we keep our fingers crossed for your Namibian opportunities!
Hero Image: Copyright GIZ/Andreas Lange