Emerging entrepreneurs motivated

MatchME2Funding
Michelline Nawatises
Swakopmund • [email protected]



Impact Tank Namibia in partnership with Start-Up Namibia, GIZ, and Nedbank concluded a free national matchmaking event hosted in 10 different towns in Namibia,

The goal of this nationwide effort was to ensure that the participating 200 startup business owners walk away better equipped to expand and grow their business.

The initiative aspires to address the challenge of access to entrepreneurship training and financial resources for startups through a nationwide matchmaking effort.

The program engaged and trained a total of 200 start-up business owners in 10 selected towns from five geographical areas for matchmaking with potential funders.

The training provided improved business development skills to the participants and increased their readiness to formally present their business to funders. It also creates links to financial institutions.

Each match-making event accommodated a three-day workshop, with the first two days consisting of business formalisation training, both practical and theoretical. These sessions were designed to enhance the participants' readiness for growth.

The third day consisted of a matchmaking session with financial institutions with the participants pitching their business concepts to secure possible funding.

The criteria consisted of having an innovative business concept with high growth potential and being scalable; an idea phase and startup ideas.

The Swakopmund pitch day at the Startup Namibia Basecamp took place recently saw participants pitching their ideas and business concepts to a panel of judges.

The judges hailed from different industries and had different qualifications and qualities. This helped them to choose three winners with the most innovative and well-presented business to win seed money in the form of cash prizes from Nedbank and Startup Namibia.

Winners

The winner of the first price of N$ 5000 was Benjamen Nampweya. His business is ‘Find My School (Online Platform)’. It helps tired parents who have to leave work and stand in a queue to get their child placed in a specific school. The platform is the perfect solution to that particular problem as it allows parents and schools to interact and makes the application process digital.

The second price of N$4250 was won by Laurentia Joel of ‘Laurentia Investments CC’. This business effects change in the community by providing affordable loaves of bread, cookies as well as cakes for special occasions. Laurentia helps her clients by reducing transportation costs since they do not need to go all the way into town to buy daily necessities.

Loide Mbura of ‘Af-investments CC’ won the third price of N$3250. She started manufacturing leather products in 2016 and now sells genuine products with Nakara providing the leather for the items.

Af-investments sell handbags, ‘veldskoene’ and other leather accessories such as passport holders.

Loide's business partner Afas Mbura says that it takes time to complete a finished product. “Producing a pair of shoes or classics handbags takes close to five hours.”

Loide says she will use the prize money to purchase more products for her business situated at the Swakopmund municipality stalls.

When asked what sets her apart from other brands, she responded that she makes unique one of a kind customised leather products.

She does this by using different coloured leather, different cuts and designs.