His love for Mercedes Benz cars inspired Frank Afrikaaner to open Mercure M/Benz, a garage in Rocky Crest, Long Island Street that specialises in Mercedes Benz vehicle repairs.
He deals with all mechanical and electrical needs of any Mercedes Benz cars ‘bumper to bumper’ as he puts it. Afrikaaner, a qualified mechanic engineer from Polytechnic of Namibia started his apprenticeship with M&Z Mercedes Benz dealer in Windhoek and ended up working for the company for a decade.
During his time at the company, he got enough expertise to start up his own small business three years ago.
Starting up his own business took courage because it meant moving from a monthly steady income to uncertain mornings.
“I started the business with some of my savings and for a while I operated the business as one-man show. Opening your own business is a risky move but if you are motivated enough and hard working, you are rewarded since hard work pays,” he said.
Today, he is no longer a one-man business but has a team of seven. Six of these are youngsters from vocational training centres.
Before getting where he is now, Afrikaaner started as an apprentice hence he understands very well its value for other youngsters.
He stressed that start-up capital can be a challenge for many entrepreneurs but hoped that the SME Bank opened last year will be useful to other entrepreneurs.
He, however, commends the ministry of Trade and Industry for empowering his business by giving him tools.
He also said that getting a proper place to set up a business can be a challenge.
“This venture was the best decision I ever made because I can now see the fruit of my labour. In order to succeed, one needs to stay focused on the goal to reach,” he emphasised.
Although, he has never done advertisement for his business, Afrikaaner has managed to keep his clientele growing through word of mouth.
He has worked on cars of well known people such as the boxer Paulus ‘Hitman’ Moses and deputy commissioner of Prisons, Tuhafeni Hangula.
In the near future, he plans on moving to a bigger space in Southern Industrial.
He advised aspiring entrepreneurs that hard work, honesty and keeping your eyes on the ball are crucial elements.