Inspiring others through business

A trendsetting business woman shares some of the secrets of her success.

09 June 2019 | People

Irene Simeon-Kurtz; Business woman; . . . keep going, growing and most importantly, pray and have faith.

Usakos • Adolf Kaure

Telecom Namibia board of directors acting chairperson and Engen 1 Stop Usakos owner Irene Simeon-Kurtz is a source of inspiration for many.

Creating job opportunities in Usakos, being nominated for the 2017 Economist Business Woman of the Year, being inducted in the Namibia Business Hall of Fame as a laureate, as well as partnering with Orano Namibia since 2015 to host an entertainment and sport festival, are a few of the many achievements of this successful business woman.

“Being able to pay salaries and impacting the lives and livelihoods of my employees and their dependents positively, has been and still is my greatest achievement,” she says.

Commenting on the current economic situation impacting businesses all over the globe, Simeon-Kurtz says that being a mother, she knows that taking drastic measures like closing shop or retrenching people would mean that she has directly and indirectly contributed to fuelling social ills and challenges. “I don’t know how I would be able to live and sleep at night, knowing that I contributed to the high levels of substance abuse, school dropouts, increased HIV prevalence rates, new infections and prostitution.”

She listed being nominated as a finalist for the Business Woman of the Year in 2017 as a personal highlight. She won the Business Owner of the Year category and dedicated the award to her staff and loyal clients.

Motivation

Simeon-Kurtz, who describes herself as noble, ethical, hardworking and God-fearing, explained what motivates her to keep doing what she does. “A happy client brings me satisfaction and motivates me to keep going. I know that not only my employees but also their dependents, are relying on my business for survival. I believe that a happy employee is a blessing to any business and therefore I develop relationships that are based on trust, openness, respect and transparency with my workers. Most of my employees have been with me for a while. We bonded and are a family. They motivate me when the going gets tough via calls, face-to-face talks and SMSs.”

Simeon-Kurtz was born in Usakos, where she also attended school. She completed her schooling at Kuisebmond Secondary School in Walvis Bay.

What inspired her to become a business woman?

“I am driven by the desire to make a meaningful contribution towards society through excellent service delivery. Women in business such as the women selling sweets, fat cakes and other items along the roads, parking lots and from their homes inspire me. I admire their drive, courage and determination.”

Back in the day, her parents owned a small general dealership in Hakhaseb, Usakos. “My older brothers and sisters would always help at the business after school and over weekends. I had the responsibility of selling ice blocks and fat cakes from home. This provided a lot of lessons about business at a very young age and helped me to develop networking skills. It also taught me to work with different clients and customers.”

Work ethic

Growing up in Usakos Simeon-Kurtz says the work ethics and humility of donkeys fascinated her.

“These animals are a real asset and a reliable tool that can weather storms and seasons. I’ve come to regard them as a genuine utility. It is an amazing creature, highly respectful and a principled hard worker.”

Having faced many challenges in her life as a business woman, Simeon-Kurtz says a good support system and prayer enable her to deal with challenges she comes across.

“God surrounded me with people that had my best interests at heart and people of strong character. I don’t fight my battles alone. Prayers and faith carry me through. I've faced many tough times but here I am, still going strong.”

She adds that many people seem to be ignorant of the fact that race and gender do not determine and define how successful one will be in business. “There are those who want to see me fail because I am black and a woman. Business is about taking calculated risks in order to achieve a positive outcome.”

She encouraged young people looking to become entrepreneurs to respect themselves, others and their ambitions, to take their reputation seriously, be resilient and never give up, no matter the odds.

“To succeed in business, you must make a start with the resources and tools that you have at your disposal. There will be obstacles, but keep going, growing and most importantly, pray and have faith.”

Similar News

 

Edgy young designer dreams big

1 week ago - 03 September 2019 | People

Windhoek • Yolanda NelWith a passion for fashion, this young designer is the talk of the town thanks to his extravagant, colourful outfits.Simeone Johannes has...

Changing faces at CAN

3 weeks ago - 25 August 2019 | People

There’s been some moving and shaking at the Cancer Association of Namibia, with two new staff members that recently joined the organisation.Sister Aina Nghitongo is...

Namibia's own Stevie Wonder

3 weeks ago - 25 August 2019 | People

Tanja Bause “My biggest dream in life is to be a radio presenter. I want to tell people stories and entertain them,” says Harry Rheeder...

Chasing dreams

3 weeks ago - 25 August 2019 | People

Walvis Bay • Leandrea Louw Soulful vocalist Vernice Plaatje (26) recently returned to Walvis Bay after a three-year internship at Hillsong South Africa. She...

Yes, yes, Yessonia!

3 weeks ago - 25 August 2019 | People

Swakopmund • Adolf KaureSwakopmund-born Sonia Shalukeni (31) aka Yessonia, is really making waves in the local music industry following the release of her latest singles.Yessonia...

Vlinders vlieg hoog

4 weeks ago - 18 August 2019 | People

Windhoek • Yolanda Nel Oulike babaklere het 'n manier om enige mamma-hart te laat smelt en ander broeis te laat. Juis daarom het 'n mamma...

Beauty queens aim to uplift others

1 month - 11 August 2019 | People

Walvis Bay • Leandrea Louw The reigning Miss Teen Walvis Bay, Dominique Bouwer, and the first ever Miss Pre-Teen Walvis Bay, Malinda Bam, discussed...

Alles wat mooi is

1 month - 04 August 2019 | People

Windhoek • Yolanda Nel As die ekonomie begin knyp, dan doen jy wat jy kan om 'n ekstra geldjie te verdien. Só het dit gebeur...

Oom Basil plant dat die biesies bewe

1 month - 28 July 2019 | People

Gerine Hoff Oom Basil Paris is ’n pensioenaris van Rehoboth wat glo hy is die eerste Namibiër wat ’n pynappel geplant het wat nou ’n...

The heart of a champion

1 month - 28 July 2019 | People

Walvis Bay • Adolf Kaure At the tender age of 15, Delano Müller has conquered the world of martial arts.Müller, who is currently a grade...

Latest News

Lewcor buys Elizabeth Bay Mine

2 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Business

Namdeb today announced that it sold its Elizabeth Bay Mine and associated marine assets as a going concern to a member of the Lewcor Group,...

New owner for Bytes Technology

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Business

Altron Rest of Africa (Altron ROA), a division of JSE-listed technology company Altron, announced the sale of a minority stake in its subsidiary, Bytes Technology...

Hey millennials, listen up!

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Economics

About 30 years ago, purchasing property was a no-brainer. However, millennials have been taught to question everything, including whether real estate is the best investment...

This boy is on fire

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Sports

Yolanda Nel With two older brothers that are well-known in the spinning community, it is no wonder their younger brother is following in their footsteps....

Going for gold

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Banking

Last night, Bank Windhoek launched their Selekt Gold offering with the aim of providing the market with a relevant, holistic financial solution.The Selekt Gold offering...

Barok uit die boonste rakke

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Art and Entertainment

’n Orrelkonsert met die musiek van Bach, Handel en Corelli is Vrydag, 27 September in die Christuskirche te hoor, wanneer die Suid-Afrikaanse konsertorrelis en vakkundige...

The world is your (shopping)...

3 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Business

After introducing the DHL Africa eShop app in April this year, it is now also available in Namibia.Since its launch, the app has seen its...

Think pink!

4 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Health

Breast and cervical cancers remain a serious concern in Namibia, with 2 474 cases of breast cancer that have been reported to the National Cancer...

Commemorate together

4 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Health

World Lymphoma Awareness Day is commemorated on 15 September every year and is dedicated to raising awareness of lymphoma, an increasingly common form of cancer....

Load More