University of Namibia student setting the bar high

Research and innovation
Otis Daniels_Finck
A fourth-year bachelor of accounting student at the University of Namibia (Unam), Gideon Shilunga, recently received US$5 000 from the Tony Elumelu Foundation to finance his e-commerce business called Republik Ventures.

The seed capital is equivalent to approximately N$76 500, and was presented to the young entrepreneur after he attended the foundation’s entrepreneurial training for the past eight months.
“The experience was invaluable. I learnt a lot during those eight months of intensive training. However, I am even more grateful that I received capital to finance my business,” Shilunga said.

His business idea was selected out of a pool of 400 000 from all around Africa, from which only 4 000 received seed capital. “Being selected out of a multitude of 400 000 means a lot to me,” he said, adding that this opportunity will propel the business to success. “With this seed capital, I will be able to upscale my business and pay for all the administration costs while doing so.”

Shilunga’s plans

Republik Ventures is an online store that is set to revolutionaries online shopping in Namibia, especially with the new ideas Shilunga intends to incorporate in his business. “Soon Republik Ventures will not only be an online store that sells products but one that creates a platform for individuals to resell their products safely,” he said.

He further pointed out that his business was previously facilitated through Facebook and Instagram, which tainted his credibility. But with this seed capital, he intends to set up a website of his own. “With a website and application, Republik Ventures will be able to establish its credibility as a business as well as be able to better serve the community,” he said.

Tony Elumelu Foundation

Tony Elumelu, the founder of the foundation, is the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. The foundation aims to catalyse economic growth and poverty eradication while ensuring job creation by empowering male and female entrepreneurs across the continent. To date, the foundation has empowered nearly 16 000 young African entrepreneurs through its seed programme and has supported 1.2 million Africans from all 54 African countries.