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Margaret Bennett

Director Centre for Enterprise Development and Research, Polytechnic of Namibia

Margaret Rosamund Bennett was born in Otjiwarongo, Namibia where she completed her schooling. She completed her B.comm studies at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and returned to Windhoek. Currenly she is enrolled for her Masters Degree in Leadership and Change while her thesis is on the effectiveness of Entrepreneurship Training Programmes, one of the business ares within the Centre she is responsible for.

Her areas of expertise include: Project implementation and management; Monitoring and evaluation of individuals as well as businesses; Personnel management; Negotiating skills and conflict handling; Personal coaching; Implementing and controlling of financial systems; Change enablement and facilitation; Strategic Marketing; Communication skills; Risk Management; Business Ethics; Training; Re-engineering of business processes; Customer relations; Board charters and evaluations; Strategic planning; Leadership and Innovative Training.

She is currenlty employed by the Polytechnic of Namibia as the Director of the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research since 1 December 2009. She is strategically responsible for the 6 business units of the Centre. This includes, Short courses, Industry focused courses, SME training, Research and Social Development, ICT training and testing including the Microsoft IT Academy and E-learning. Building relationships and embarking on an active and effective marketing campaign form part of the main priorities.

Margaret accumulated a wealth of experience during her professional career with the following organisations:

Office of the Auditor General where she was responsible for auditing of the Representative Authorities before and after Namibian Independence on 21 March 1990 when the focus moved to the auditing of the Government Ministries. Re-engineering and training of staff, as well as personnel of the different Ministries, were part of her daily task. She also did business re-engineering for the Government.

Challenges faced in her career relates to the transition of Namibia Post from a Government department to a parastatel with profit targets. This included groundbreaking work in changing from paper based accounting to one of the highest sophisticated ERP systems, ie SAP R/3. Writing of all training materials, all internal processes as well as the re-engineering of massive stores and vault items were included in this area of responsibility. She was instrumental in Nampost braking even in her second year as Manager Finance. She implemented the RIPOSTE system in the post offices which were touch screen based and integrated with SAP. During her last 3 years as General Manager Finance, Namibia Post was transformed into one of the three profit making Post Offices worldwide. A brief stay at the Philately department exposed her to international trade and marketing, resulting into the Namibian stamp centre to transform out of a loss situation to a profit of N$3m in one year.

In addition to all her managerial duties as Regional Manager for SAP R/3 in Namibia she was the project owner of various SAP implementations and upgrades of clients in Namibia. One of the highlights of her career with SAP was the successful implementation of SAP at NamPower, the Namibian power utility.

For a brief period she joined Methealth Namibia and obtained a good understanding of the medial aid industry.

In her four years and six months tenure as Managing Director of Professional Provident Society, (Insurance for Professionals) client figures doubled and profit grew with an average of 26% per annum. Special experience was obtained in the managing of channel sales and conflict handling. Innovative training methods were introduced allowing brokers, clients and personnel to obtain a deeper understanding of the product.

SPECIAL Awards and Projects

¨ Finalist in Namibia Business Woman award 1997

¨ Finalist in Namibia Business Woman award 2007

¨ Finalist in Business Communicator of the year in 2007

¨ Founder and Trustee of Pukumani Trust

¨ Sam Nujoma Innovation Enterprise Development Award 2010