Sanlam Innovation Works winners crowned

From the 102 applications received from hopeful young entrepreneurs, only 15 were shortlisted, and five were announced as the winners of this year’s programme.

12 March 2019 | Education

Ester Kamati

The initiative was launched with the aim to inspire and unlock passion in Namibia’s young and aspiring entrepreneurs, said Hilaria Graig, Sanlam’s marketing and communication manager, at the awards ceremony. A total of 21 entrepreneurs have benefitted from the project thus far, through receiving not only start-up capital but also the coaching and mentorship needed to lift their businesses off the ground.

Among the winners was Linda Creations, which is a fully Namibian company that aims to create top-quality affordable cleaning materials, mainly dishwashing liquid. Nambush Feeds, another winner, is focused on producing “food from the bush”, through using two of the most dominant encroacher bushes to produce an organic feed.

Mist Agricultural Laboratory (MISTAL) was founded by two Namibian females, who have found a way to bridge the gaps identified in the food quality and assurance and nutritional information labelling industry.

The Chi-Chi App is a mobile application created to bring breast cancer awareness and support networks to rural African women, who cannot afford quality breast cancer healthcare.

The last of the winners was Motlee HR Systems, which was created to ensure that employees have access to a payslip, in order to improve financial inclusion on the continent.

Graig said those whose projects have not been selected should not lose hope, but rather refine them. Motlee HR Systems also applied last year and was not selected, but nevertheless were victorious this year. Bernice Ndungaua, the manager of entrepreneurship and incubation at NBII, encouraged the youth attending the event to adopt a business mindset and get involved in the business world. She said there will never be a perfect time.

Mareka Masule of Ilotu Cosmetics advised that a business should reflect the owner, as the owner gives it personality.

She further encouraged entrepreneurs to stay true to who they are, as well as pay attention to their environment.

She said at the end of the day, the only businesses that will survive are those who have offered solutions to existing problems.

The five innovative businesses where announced by Graig and will each receive a mentor from NBII, as well as a prize of N$50 000. This prize will, however, not be paid out as a lump sum, but will be sent directly to suppliers for the purchase of any item required by the new enterprises.

This is to ensure that the business goes far and the funds are not used for personal use, but rather invested into the growth and improvement of the business.

Caption 1- Sanlam marketing and communication’s manager Hilaria Graig (fifth from left) and NBII’s Bernice Ndungaua (sixth from left) with the winners of the Sanlam Innovation Works competition.

PHOTO Contributed

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