Interview with Leena Sindano, InterActive’s 2016 Eco-Entrepreneur MBA Scholarship Recipient
On behalf of all us at InterActive, we’d like to congratulate you on receiving the Eco entrepreneur award this year.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
My name is Leena Sindano. I have a bachelor’s degree in economics and I currently work for the Namibian government. I am employed by the National Planning Commission, where I work as a national development planning advisor.
Recently I started my own private business manufacturing and selling organic products that come from the moringa tree, which is an incredible natural resource and full of nutrients that are very healthy for the body. You can use the leaves, the stems, the seeds, and even the roots to make organic teas, cosmetics, soaps, and spices.
I also extract oil from the tree’s seeds, which can be used for cooking and as a dressing for foods. It can also use it on your hair, face, and body.
Where did you learn about the moringa tree?
The tree became very famous in my home town. It became known as the miracle tree that is full of vitamins, and it is also considered a natural supplement which is used to help treat many illnesses.
I decided that since this tree is only known in my hometown, I should bring these products to our capital city, Windhoek, where it is less well known.
What kind of marketing did you do for your products?
Surprisingly, there are very few people who know about the moringa tree, so I had to make a brochure that explains all of the health benefits. I’m also using Facebook and local newspapers to advertise my products.
As the recipient of InterActive’s 2016 Eco-Entrepreneur MBA scholarship award, what plans do you have after finishing the programme?
I see myself starting a moringa manufacturing company, which will manufacture all the products that are currently available, as well as new products which haven’t been introduced yet. My MBA will give me the business skills and knowledge I need to turn these plans into a successful enterprise.
What advice would you give to other women who would like start their own business?
I would say the most important thing is to believe in yourself, and to give yourself time. You need to learn how to market your product, so it’s a good idea to test the market first and see what kind of response you get. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’ve already applied for funding from investors, but it is ultimately the response I get from the local market as well as my MBA education that will help me decide how to go forward.
Most people don’t have access to the education required to grow a sustainable business. That’s why I know that after gaining my MBA, I will be able to give back to my community. After my business grows, I would like to employ more women – this is key to maintaining a social entrepreneurship.