Innovative businesswomen awarded

Iron ladies

13 July 2020 | Business

Ruth Martnez-Lago, IFAC – “The next step is to grow the business to provide our services to other African countries and to the rest of the world.”

Walvis Bay •[email protected]

Local entrepreneur and food safety consultant Ruth Martinez-Lago was one of 54 ladies from across Africa who emerged as a winner in the Woman in Africa (WIA) philanthropy foundation competition, WIA54.

Each year the foundation selects 54 women entrepreneurs from 54 African countries, who have created start-ups with the most innovative and high-growth potential companies or initiatives with already proven traction.

Martinez-Lago said that the start-ups should address issues from nine sectors identified by the World Bank for Africa. These are education, health, agriculture and the food industry, financial technology, digital technology; climate and sustainable development, creative industries and the beauty industries.

“Our business, Iyalago Food Assurance Consultants, was fortunate to be considered as it tackles issues in the health sector.”
Iyalago Food Assurance Consultants (IFAC) is the brainchild of Martinez-Lago and Vera Iyambo. Established in April 2017, IFAC aims to assist food establishments in Namibia to implement and manage food safety and quality management systems.

The two iron ladies behind IFAC each have over 13 years’ experience in the fishing industry and hold Bachelor of Science degrees in fisheries and aquatic sciences from the University of Namibia.

Martinez-Lago said she submitted an application for the WIA54 competition.

“The competition had 3800 entries of which 144 were selected as finalists and 54 winners were announced on 25 June 2020. I was one of three Namibians that entered and was selected as a laureate representing Namibia. The selection process was conducted by one of the leading management consulting firms in the world and a major patron of the Women in Africa Initiative, Roland Berger. The selection process was credible and based on merit.”

The winners reap numerous benefits.

“One benefit is being mentored for a year by large organisations or patrons of the WIA initiative and experienced business women. Other benefits include visibility and high level networking with WIA club members and other entrepreneurs from different African countries.”

Martinez-Lago says being selected also indicates that the work IFAC does in helping food businesses produce safe and high quality food, is highly valued in Namibia and Africa.

IFAC also started a graduate mentoring program in its start-up phase.

“We take in a graduate or two per year. We mentor and train them in food safety and quality assurance aspects of the food industry so that they can obtain the necessary skills and knowledge to become employable in the food industry.”

Martinez-Lago says she is very excited about the future.

“Being an entrepreneur has taken me out of my comfort zone and made me realise that I can do more given the opportunity. Being a WIA laureate will open doors for me in a big way. The next step is to grow the business to provide our services to other African countries and to the rest of the world.”

Similar News


Trots Walvisbaai!

7 hours ago | Business

Walvisbaai • [email protected] Daar is min dinge so trots Namibies soos 'n yskoue koeldran­kie langs 'n gesellige braaivleisvuur. Die waarheid is egter die...

Top five risks for business in 2021

1 week ago - 17 January 2021 | Business

Covid-19, emerging digital threats, climate change and the US-China relationship are among the Top 5 risks for business in 2021, according to Control Risks (,...

Local flavours fill CBD

1 week ago - 17 January 2021 | Business

Swakopmund • [email protected] Hafeni Traditional Bistro recently opened its’ doors in Swakpmund’s central business district.Entrepreneur Heinrich Hafeni Nghidipaya says the bistro caters for those...

Manica pumping massive funds into modern technology

1 week ago - 14 January 2021 | Business

Walvis Bay ∙ [email protected] Manica Group Namibia has recently invested in an advanced mobile hopper and bagging system, the first of its kind in...

TransNamib suspends passenger services countrywide

1 week ago - 12 January 2021 | Business

TransNamib has suspended all its passenger services following the derailment of a train in southern Namibia. The train derailed on a bridge some 45...

Vehicle industry’s resilience applauded

2 weeks ago - 11 January 2021 | Business

Dealerships and salespeople in the motor vehicle industry were recognised for their commitment, loyalty, and support at Bank Windhoek’s annual Selekt Sales Awards ceremony hosted...

Shoprite strike enters third week

2 weeks ago - 10 January 2021 | Business

Swakopmund • [email protected] Shoprite employees cheered after the high court in Windhoek ruled in favor of their trade union Nafau in its application against the...

Henties inwoner stig besigheidsforum

2 weeks ago - 06 January 2021 | Business

Hentiesbaai • [email protected] Die Hentiesbaaise sakevrou Daleen Agenbag hoop om deur middel van ’n besigheidsforum ’n verskil op die aftreedorp te maak. “Ons...

Natural Diamond Manufacturer sparkles with opportunity

3 weeks ago - 30 December 2020 | Business

Of Namibia’s 2.5 million population, more than half are unemployed and over 100 000 persons live with some form of disability which puts them at...

King Charcoal to expand

3 weeks ago - 30 December 2020 | Business

Walvis Bay • [email protected] The previous Walvis Bay municipal council decided that an additional two hectares of Farm 38 can be leased to...

Latest News

Grumpy’s fishing report

7 hours ago | Fishing

What an amazing week of fishing anglers enjoyed. Maketus and Canopy produced and were on fire for two days with huge kob being caught by...

Trots Walvisbaai!

7 hours ago | Business

Walvisbaai • [email protected] Daar is min dinge so trots Namibies soos 'n yskoue koeldran­kie langs 'n gesellige braaivleisvuur. Die waarheid is egter die...

More than 260 grade 1’s...

22 hours ago | Education

Walvis Bay • [email protected] According to the regional director of education in Erongo, Enfrieda Stephanus, there are still 263 grade one learners who have...

Henties verhaal waterskuld

22 hours ago | Local News

Hentiesbaai • [email protected] Die munisipaliteit van Hentiesbaai het inwoners met agterstallige waterrekeninge versoek om reëlings te tref om hul skuld te vereffen. Volgens...

Triathletes go for gold

22 hours ago | Sports

Swakopmund • [email protected] The Namibian Triathlon Federation (NTF) hosted the RMB Triathlon at Platz Am Meer in Swakopmund on Saturday. Julika Pahl and Divan...

Kuisebrivier vanmiddag teen die kus...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Weather

Walvisbaai • [email protected] Na René Baard se video van die Kuisebrivier se vloei ’n draai op sosiale media gemaak het, wag die hawedorp...

More heartache for Otweya residents...

1 day - 24 January 2021 | Disasters

Walvis Bay While many in the country are rejoicing about the recent rains, the Otweya “tent town” residents have been drenched in more...

Die kaf van die koring

1 day - 24 January 2021 | Health

Windhoek ∙ [email protected] “Die entstof plaas ’n mikroskyfie in jou lyf en Bill Gates gaan jou en jou doen en late met ’n valkoog...

Henties munisipale werker toets positief...

1 day - 24 January 2021 | Health

Hentiesbaai • [email protected] Die munisipaliteit van Hentiesbaai is op 22 Januarie gesluit na ‘n personeellid positief getoets het vir Covid-19. Volgens Elizabeth Coetzee, die...

Load More