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There is always a plan B.”


Zodidi Gaseb is a social entrepreneur, natural hair enthusiast and the founder of African Naturals Production. She grew up in Swakopmund and completed her high school diploma at Westside High School. Zodidi went on to graduate and major in Fine Arts with a passion for theoretical studies and design, at the Walter Sisulu University in South Africa. She gained experience working in the creative industry as a designer and curator, and is currently working at the Namibia Business Innovation Institute at NUST, specifically under Events’ Management. She also enjoys working with entrepreneurs and thinkers who come up with various and exciting solutions.

Zodidi’s cabinet is full to the brim with achievements and awards:

  • she has spoken at TEDx Windhoek and had her talk selected to celebrate TED’s 1 Billion viewing mark;
  • she is an alumna of the Namibian United States Alumni Association (NUSAA), where she represented Namibia in the International Visitors Leadership Programme;
  • she has won a Business Hall of Fame award;
  • she was an invited speaker at the Global Media Forum in Germany on the topic of ‘Hair as a Cultural Intervention’.
  • she presented her business journey as an entrepreneur at the Lionesses of Africa;
  • she was selected as one of the 100 Brightest Young Minds of Africa in 2017;
  • she founded the Natural Hair & Beauty Expo and continue to showcase local entrepreneurs and celebrate identity & culture.

African Naturals Production is a culmination of various passions – a passion for social issues, for natural hair, for empowering other young women, for bringing people together & for entrepreneurship –  a passion that grew into a business catering to natural hair and skin. I love formulating new products and it’s something that comes to me naturally. We offer a full line of natural products  such as shampoos, hair spritz, hair and skin butter, hair growth oil, conditioners and recently, beard oil and balm for the gentlemen. We also offer consultation services on hair regimen and workshops that cater to a holistic lifestyle. Best of all, our products are safe and made locally! I am quite fortunate to have an amazing team who make this possible. Lolita de Almeida (Formulation & Events) and Michelle Sibeso (Marketing & Finance) keep me on my toes with fantastic ideas.”

What inspired you to start this business?

“What inspired me was seeing the impact my actions and choices had on my children and those around me. Plus the lack of products for my type of hair. The huge gap in the market during that time provided a fantastic opportunity to create my own line. “

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?

“What I enjoy most about having a business is watching it grow, the great reviews people give and watching [people] transform into confident versions of themselves. I’ve always dreamt of freedom, making my own choices and changing people’s lives. I didn’t know how I would do it, but self-sufficiency was always a goal for me.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“My products are multifunctional, child-friendly and support various women cooperatives who in turn can provide a better life for their families. I truly am a believer in an organic system that can benefit everyone in the supply chain. I pour a bit of myself into every product, handmade and select the best ingredients that ensure results. I also think that my authenticity is a key component to engaging with my customers.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“Challenges are a part of life and so too in business. I’ve had incidents where I didn’t have raw material because my suppliers were on strike. I’ve run out of containers as well and at times had to dive into my savings pocket. I’m very solution-oriented and always think outside the box, so I have managed thus far to always find a solution. What I also recommend is transparency and communication with clients; people appreciate that so much more.”

What is your business philosophy?

“My business philosophy is that there is always a plan B. Things may not work out and we make peace with it; understanding that what is meant for us will flow effortlessly, and it usually does. Ofcourse, having a working business strategy never hurt either so we regularly check in and make sure we’re on the right path.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

My advice for someone wanting to start a cosmetics business is to do research – tons of it! It never stops as the industry changes. It is also imperative to have all your stories in order, to write your ideas & formulations down and to invest in a mentor. My mentor has literally shifted certain aspects of my business and held me accountable.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“I recently presented a talk on the importance of networking and I strongly believe in it. Networking is a brilliant tool for connecting, sourcing, engaging and soliciting advice – not only in your business but in terms of marketing, strategy and business growth.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“As a Namibian-owned and -run company, with products specially formulated with Namibians in mind, we pride ourselves in working with young Namibian women, collaborating with other entrepreneurs and by using locally sourced oils in our products, thus contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“If I could recommend support for startups in Namibia, I would definitely suggest i) fully-equipped testing labs that are accessible, ii) keeping up with trends in terms of business plan writing and iii) for various organizations and parastatals to work together to implement policies for intellectual property and entrepreneurship.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating informationcombating the spread of the virus, etc.?

We have had to adjust to the pandemic and as formulators, shift our focus from simply providing cosmetics to also producing sanitizers and hand washes, as per the World Health Organisation’s regulations, thus expanding our product range.


Echoing her business philosophy,

“What is meant for us will flow effortlessly, and it usually does.”


Cell: +26481 260 0424

Email: africannaturalscc@gmail.com

Facebook: African Naturals Namibia

Instagram & Twitter: @africannaturals_namibia

If we could work together as youth, we can do great things.”

Julia Ndeilenga, founder of PillowChick, is an entrepreneur and holder of a Bachelor in Business Administration, having majored in Marketing Management. She was born and raised in Walvisbay where she completed secondary school in 2010. Thereafter, she moved to Windhoek and a year later, she moved to Cape Town to pursue her degree. After being based in Cape Town for three years, Julia moved back to Namibia in search of employment with a desire to be independent. She has since been in the media industry, learning about business techniques and establishments over the years.

Julia started with PillowChick Designs in July 2019. She had been trying to add to her bedroom with pillows. Initially she planned on purchasing them from a furniture retailer until she decided to challenge herself by making her own, which consequently brought PillowChick to life. She bought fabric and went about making pillows, which turned out quite impressive for someone who was simply experimenting. Upon successfully making her own pillows, Julia made more prototype pillows to test what she thought could be a potential market. She completed 20 pillows in one evening for her very first collection, named URI or ‘My Light’ in Hebrew; the URI Collection sold out within the same week she had posted it on her social media. This not only motivated her, but also instilled confidence in her belief that there was a market she could capitalise on.

What inspired you to start this business?

She has always been a décor enthusiast and creative – a trait she strongly attributes to her father’s love for decorating in their home. This business was thus born of that love.

“My inspiration was drawn from my passion for decoration as well as the desire I had to be successful. It wasn’t a dream. It was more of a vision that I had. I wanted to be known for something that would be an inspiration to another person. I wanted to be known for something great and PillowChick has been my greatest achievement.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?

“The freedom of not having to report to anyone; the achievements and the pressure that comes with everything and the thrilling feeling of having to accomplish all the goals set. It feels amazing.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“My products are for décor enthusiasts because not everyone likes to decorate around their houses so I really am working with a very niche market. Apart from that, my pillows are locally made from different fabric. They are comfortable and clients are given an opportunity to choose in which fabric or colour they would like them in. They are also very affordable as we don’t want anyone to be left out of being in a beautiful environment with PillowChick pillows.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“Being in business is not easy for anyone especially when you have set goals for yourself. There are so many setbacks that comes with wins. My challenges since I have been in business are the work load and the limited time I have, most especially when you have a full-time job. I basically have to live two lives and I have to divide my hours to be able to manage both my roles. At first it was a little difficult but as time goes by I was able to adapt and master it.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Listen to your clients. I always listen to client specifications, because in as much as I am the provider of the service, I am not the one going to use the products. My aim is to beautify your space but at your specifications.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“Start with what you have and everything else will fall into place. When I started PillowChick I didn’t have any of what I have now, including my own machine. I constantly had to go up and down to my younger sister to be able to finish orders that were placed.

Also, when starting a business, humble yourself. Do not price your products too high; make them affordable as possible to gain clients. No one would buy something at a high price which they don’t trust. Focus on building relationships with clients. When I started off, I would even give out pillows for free. This way, I could get my products onto the market, for people to experience their quality and affordability.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“Networking is very important in every business aspect because this allows you to interact, share ideas and skills from different people.“

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“I always thought that we as the youth aren’t working together enough as designers to break into the design industry. I have a dream that one day Ramatex will reopen so that it can once again be used as a clothing factory. We would not need to import most of the things we do now because Namibia has got so many talented young individuals who I believe could create a lot of these imported products. If we could work together as youth, we can do great things.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating informationcombating the spread of the virus, etc.?

“The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected my startup much, apart from not getting all the fabric that I need to be able to make the orders placed by my clients. It did, however, keep me on my feet which I am most proud of. I have been making masks since the start of the pandemic and this has helped with the boosting of my brand during the lockdown. I was happy to sign with Ohlthaver & List: Pick n Pay, providing them with masks during this difficult time. I am proud to be associated with one of Namibia’s biggest brands. It’s another achievement and we can only be grateful.

Additionally, I have also been utilising this time to grow my brand as well as myself as an individual, by reading books, watching motivational videos and videos on investment, business and financial management as well as other business ideas I can venture into.”

Starting PillowChick is a moment Julia recalls proudly. At first, she was uncertain about whether she could accomplish it and she had several critics telling her the idea would not work. Despite the odds, she pushed herself and after a little over 6 months of operations, PillowChick Designs found itself on the shelves of Nictus Namibia. Julia dreams of opening a shop of her own in the near future.

In her own words, “I strongly believe this is just the beginning.”


Cell: +26481 376 5169

Email: ndeilengajulia@yahoo.com

Instagram: @pillow_chick

Twitter: @pillowchick

Christine Thikusho is an alumna of the University of Pretoria and founder of Rapid Learning Africa, an edtech start-up digital platform. She has 7 years working experience in the mining industry (Zinc & Uranium mines). She is passionate about education and making a difference on the African continent, which inspired her to start her company. Through Rapid Learning Africa’s platform, her vision is that it becomes a hub where entrepreneurs gain practical knowledge to thrive in their businesses.

What is Rapid Learning Africa?

Rapid Learning Africa is an edtech startup, a Pan-African digital platform that aims to provide high quality learning resources for entrepreneurs.

What products/services do you offer?

We offer an opportunity for brands to market their businesses on the platform. This is done through a Q&A interview session with founders, instagram live chats and creating social media posts for companies who choose to advertise through our social media platforms. The start-up also hosts educational seminars that aims at creating a networking experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can exchange ideas & thrive.

What was the inspiration behind it?

The inspiration behind the start-up is just sheer passion. l love helping people and it gives me great joy seeing them succeed in what makes their heart sing. Namibia and the continent at large has a high unemployment rate. Today we see so many qualified graduates not being able to secure jobs. This inspired me to create a platform that would help entrepreneurs gain the necessary resources to excel in business. We are still working on curating this content however, we should be seeing the brand in 2020 interacting more with entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is hard and no one should be doing it alone, this is where a community of entrepreneurs helps in realising dreams and making impact.

What challenges have you experienced?

With the start-up being a digital platform, it is a challenge convincing people to make payments online. I am in the process of understanding how this is playing out in other African markets, but it turns out people are still hesitant to buy online. This is something we need to figure out real quick going forward as a start-up.

What is your philosophy in business?

I believe doing business means helping people, no one should go in business because they want to get rich quickly. Building a legacy business will take time and a lot of sweat and that is something we need to understand as entrepreneurs. I don’t believe in get rich quick schemes and overnight success. As an entrepreneur, focus on creating value for your customers and eventually the money will follow. The bottom line is enjoying what you do and really doing it wholeheartedly.

What is the most interesting thing about Rapid Learning Africa?

The interesting thing I would say is that we have a love for people. We want to see people succeed in what they choose to do.

Visit their website on: www.rapidlearningafrica.com or contact Christine on:

Email: info@rapidlearningafrica.com

Instagram: @christinethikusho

Othilia Tutu Mungoba, founder of Khaya Creative Concepts sees herself and her business growing into a full-fledged business with a complete team, providing services to small medium enterprises. She is a talent with experience in broadcasting, production, print media, TV, Radio and drama ranging from being a presenter and a supporting act in NBC kiddies TV such as Sunshine Club and Holiday Special from a tender age of 12. At 15 she had a two hours program on Katutura Community Radio now known as Base FM. She began her studies in Media at the college of the arts instantaneously as she completed her grade 11 and 12, thereafter she went on to study Broadcasting and Media Studies majoring Production Management at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa . She was also the subeditor of her high school newspaper, which she recalls as her biggest concept development gig. Tutu as she is so fondly known, has worked on developing concepts and producing for shows such as Wizeni, Child’s Way, Tutaleni and Afro Connection. She’s also worked on concepts for corporate marketing through her job at One Africa, and concepts for societal sensitizing and behavioral change on HIV, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programmes when she was employed at Global Fund Namibia office as a senior communication offer.

What services do you offer?
I conceptualize and direct easy to use creative, promotion and product development plans for print, TV, radio and online presence. Basically, I sell your one stop tool kit in advertising and product placement to ensure your product is appealing to the end consumer. I create advertisement packages that cater to especially to SMEs. Be the development of an album cover artwork, organizing of conferences, content creation for media flighting or exhibition to messaging for a road show for any medium.

How do you deal with product development?
The process is highly calculating and similarly intellectual as you have to focus on the demographic that the client is (intends) selling to and analyzing the relevance of the product. The needs of the consumers you’re targeting in relation to the product
and of course current competitors. Research and alga rhythms are intricate to the conceptualization of colors, music, packaging etc. The budget allocated to the project always plays a big role so making every dollar count and giving value for
money which at times can realigning budget lines and key target platforms.

Advice to people wanting to break into creative directing?
When creating a concept, it is never about you so one needs to possess the ability to detach from the self. Be objective, look at what appeals to the demographic in order to sell a product to that target audience or consumer. Never underestimate the
consumer. Keep up with market trends and always be on the look for experimental pieces or work that do not always befit the norms and how you can integrate that into your work or presentations. There should be a daily indulgence and yearning to
experience life in third narrative and a little of crazy story developing in your head.

What challenges have you encountered on your journey?
Explaining to clients that your mind is your commodity and why it is important not only for them to have a business plan but a marketing and promotional plan that speaks to the services they provide. The lack of black female mentors in the industry
and the bias allocation of jobs to smaller upcoming entities.

Email: khayacreationsconcepts@gmail.com
Cell: +264 81 448 5450
Instagram: I_am_othilia

Poiyah Media was founded by Ilke Platt and is 100% owned by a black Namibian female entrepreneur. She is a well renowned television, radio personality, and has over ten years- experience in the corporate industry having served corporates including the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, Sanlam and Old Mutual in the Marketing and Communications department respectively. Having hosted many high profiled events for over sixteen years, Platt has an extensive experience through live broadcast events with significant role players in attendance such as the Founding Father, First Lady of Namibia and several Ministers.

She is a Masters graduate from the University of Namibia, and has a passion for the community thus she focused her thesis on corporate social responsibility and sustainability. In 2015, she served on the board of Junior Achievement Namibia, prioritizing the Namibian Youth needs and development. She is currently a PHD Candidate through UNAM and serves on UNAM ALUMNI EXCO.

Former chair of Prisa Namibia (Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa), Platt has vast knowledge of the public relations industry locally and internationally. She was a finalist for the Economist Young Business Women of the Year (2017). As founder of her public relations and communications firm, Poiyah Media, they won the Best Media Partner for the Global Start-Up Awards 2019 (at National level). 

1. What is Poiyah Media?

Poiyah is derived from the names of founder’s two sons, Popyeni and Oiyah. Poiyah Media believes firmly in reputation and the goodwill of companies that operate in its respective communities. Sharing the story of the company and its purpose are
critical. Therefore, we strive to not only boost image/brand but most importantly reputation. Relationship with each partner is key to allow these messages to freely express themselves. Upon engagement, each product/service should be as good as
it can be to ensure that public relations and communication are only secondary. As our slogan resonates “Word of Mouth”, we wish to not only create awareness but to allow your brand to be as good as what the next person would say.

  • Services include the following:
     Media Coverage – Through well written and thought out articles to captivate
    an audience;
    Conceptualization Public Relations Campaigns – Detailed execution process;
    Content Generation – Messaging suitable for your brand and timely delivery;
    Corporate Social Responsibility – The ability to define most suitable projects and execution towards an impact cause with measurement delivery, this also includes drive towards staff involvement;
    Brand Management –Communications and public relations strategies to identify key areas of improvement.

2. What is the inspiration behind Poiyah Media?
There was a need to customize public relations and communications for start-ups and to cater to entrepreneurs who lack brand awareness and cannot afford full time public relations agencies.

3. What is your philosophy in business?
True to our slogan “word of mouth”, your work should speak for itself. Your business should be as good as people say it is. That allows new business for your organization and creates a sustainable business model.

4. If we had to quote you on one thing, what would you say?

Always put God first in all you do, even in business. He’s the one that always provides for you and your family every single day.

5. How has your experience with breaking into this industry been?
When I started out it was really tough and rough emotionally. I had just filed for a divorce and emotionally wasn’t prepared to start my business. Financially, I inherited a lot of debts from my marriage and I struggled to make ends meet just with the
basics. Apart from the behind the scenes, my network of over 17 years has allowed the second year to be easier with me pro-actively engaging and putting my company out there.

6. What are the challenges that you’ve faced?
Learning to not take on more than I can chew. I love multi-tasking. I will always say yes and do the impossible. But, in the entrepreneurial world you need to know how much you can actually put on your plate without burning out. I can remember I took on two major events in one week, with the second event hosting close to 10K attendees. We managed to pull off both events however it’s challenging staying energized and driven to execute your level best.

7. Tell us about the internship you offer and youth engagement at Poiyah Media?
We are proud to boast that 80% of our former interns have landed a full time job. They’ve been sourced through Poiyah Media based on the talent and skills portrayed by the interns. I am like a proud mother looking at my former interns in the corporate
world making their own money and developing their own brands individually.

8. What advice will you give to any upcoming entrepreneur in your

Not everyone is made for the entrepreneurial world. You need to self-motivate. You need to remind yourself every day why you jumped boat. Every day will not be the same, which I love and everyday will have a new and exciting chapter. There is never a dull moment in this industry. You get work with different people on various projects and you get to switch your hat every single day. It can however be financially depressing but on the good days, you are able to pay your expenses 6 months in advance which makes it worthwhile.


Iriya Jona holds a Bachelor of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Hons). She’s never had formal employment. She got into business through Student Entrepreneurship Programme (SEP), that was held by the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation in 2017. She was one of the five finalists awarded by the Sanlam Namibia, together with NBII for the Sanlam Innovation Works Competition in 2018, for her idea to harvest the seaweed for exportation purposes and animal supplements. The questions from that competition prompted her to harvest seaweeds for the production of chicken feed instead. She realised that her first idea was not sustainable and was not adding value to the community. Iriya who is a social entrepreneur, wants to make an impact. She realised the gap in the market, and realised a way to ease chicken farmers to maximise profits.

Apart from the Sanlam Innovation Works Competition, she was part of the Redbull Amaphiko Namibia as a social entrepreneur, which she believes connected her to more people, she was awarded the 1st runner up prize at SME Compete; 2nd place at Startupper of the year by Total where she was also awarded Top Female Entrepreneur. Iriya is the winner of the NCRST FemBioBiz III. 

What product does Nam Oceanic Kelp Production Enterprise offer?
We produce chicken feed from seaweed. Our target market is start-up commercial farmers in order to assist them to make maximum profit out of their chickens. Currently, farmers buy chicken feed (mainly maize grains and sunflower seeds) which only cater for carbohydrate and protein and they are not sufficient nutrients to boost chicken growth, hence farmers have to buy additional supplements. This is a costly exercise as up to 60% of production cost goes to chicken feed. With our product, it will reduce the farmer’s expenditure by at least 15%, it is Namibian owned, less costly and cheaper as it is produced in the country and one package will contain sufficient nutrients and minerals.

As a start-up how do you ensure that you produce a quality product?
We’ve started testing a prototype that we’ve created on one breed, the Koekoes. We are making comparison between the feed that farmers use now against ours. We weigh the chickens after every two days to see the different growth rates. With the Koekoes we’ve ran the test for 2 months. We realised that the first prototype had a fault in that we did not desalinate the seaweed, and there is a certain content of salt that is required for chicken to feed on hence the chicken did not react well to the salt.
Currently we are working on three prototypes with protein sources from plants and mastering the desalinating process of removing the salt without stripping the product of its nutrients and minerals. Our next set of tests, we will run the test against 5 breeds. We also hope to carry out an experiment on Layers together with a university student from the UNAM Neudamm campus. We are also working on getting bigger machinery to improve the quality of the product, especially the grinding machine in order to make a finer product that is easier for chickens to digest. Hoping to enter the selling market in 2020 after the completion of the tests.

What challenges have you experienced?
It has been very challenging to obtain and apply for rights to farm at sea, as there is no assistance when you approach the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. Working space is also challenging to secure in an industrial noise zone area which is very expensive, as we are at start-up stage and are not yet making an actual profit. Lastly, funding is a struggle. Grants are not accessible, so most of our funds are obtained from competition winnings, which really helped us start off from an idea stage but the bigger part of the project is yet to start and we will need a once off grant, then we can focus better on our work. Most of our time is taken up by going from one competition to another, which is good for exposure but at some point it’s time to do what has to be done and it will only happen if we get a boost once off. Contact Nam Oceanic Kelp Production Enterprise at:
+264 81 322 8584

Launch Namibia had the pleasure of attending E-Commerce Payments Methods Bootcamp
on Thursday March 5 th 2020, organised and curated by GIZ Namibia. The educative session
was held at The Village (Opera House) in Windhoek. The programme was facilitated by
Sannssi Cissé, Head of Collaboration at GreenTec Capital Africa Foundation.
The boot camp consisted of informative talks, a panel discussion, a keynote address and
most importantly, parallel breakaway sessions.

The key note address was given by Mr. Llewellyn Le Hané, the Managing Director at Green
Enterprise Solutions. It firmly laid the foundations of the conversations that were to follow
as Mr. Le Hané spoke comprehensively about e-commerce payment methods at not only a
global level but also specifically at an African and Namibian level, as was relevant.
Mr. Le Hané said that Africa’s market is currently ripe for E-commerce. He further stated
that Africa’s E-commerce industry would be worth an estimated USD75 billion by 2025. In
his opinion, E-commerce allows for the bridging of African and global markets, regardless of
a country’s population & economic status. Despite this, he felt that Namibia is currently
being left behind in terms of payment methods.

As much as he is optimistic about the growth of E-commerce in Namibia, equally there are
hurdles to overcome. These hurdles include issues of trust & fraud, weak delivery of e-
commerce payment methods, lack of infrastructure to move products from point A to B i.e.
doorstep delivery and little to no easy-to-use payment systems & gateway. Additionally,
intra-regional & global economies are limited despite what may seem like apparent access.
Namibia’s E-commerce and its payment methods are in need of serious enhancement to
solve these issues. For this to happen, key players need to be involved, and these include
the government, financial institutions as well as the start-ups and businesses making use of
these payment methods.

Those in attendance listened attentively and took notes as topics like Banking Regulations,
Starting & Scaling a Digital Business and the Future of E-commerce in Namibia &
Implications for Start-Ups were thoroughly discussed. Attendees further listened to the
success story of Ms. Beatha Shitemba, owner of Nels Babies, on her transition from
traditional to digital economy.

The highlight of the bootcamp was the Parallel Breakway Sessions which comprised of three
different topics, namely:
1. SMS Payment: An Innovative Way to Do Payments – conducted by Mr. Macveren
Kapukare & Mr. Jessé Schiceya;
2. PayToday – Namibia’s easy, safe and secure payment method – conducted by Mr.
Chris Botha, PayToday Co-founder;
3. 5 Steps to Build an Online Shop, Including Payments – Green Enterprise solutions.

Attendees selected their topic of interest before the programme commenced and were
later separated into their chosen groups, wherein they not only listened and learned but
also discussed and asked questions.

Overall, the bootcamp was beneficial, not only because stakeholders from the entire value
chain of E- important industries were invited, but also because topics & discussions were
thoroughly dived into. Thank you to Anna Vambe and the GIZ Namibia team for organising
yet another successful event which enhance the Namibian entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Lover of the environment Paulina Alfeus, saw the depression of our trees and decided to venture into sustainable development.  Paulina was born in Onavivi village 30km outside Outapi and, she grew up in Oniipa.  She is a proud product of Oniipa, a place that she believes taught her so much personal courage. She is a social entrepreneur that believes in the betterment of the environment and Namibia at large.  She is a boilermaker by profession, graduated from Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) in 2016.  She was employed at Rossing Uranium Mine before she left to start up Power Six.

What is Power Six and what do you do?

We are a manufacturing company that specializes in up-cycling scrap material to make furniture and other household products. All the material we use is locally sourced.  Mainly we make use of oil barrels with additional materials such as cushions, foam and leather.  The reason we use oil barrels is to reduce cutting down of trees and reduce the oil pollution that is otherwise caused by the waste oil barrels.

So far we’ve produced chairs, couches, tables and cribs that we’ve catered to hospitality places such lodges, bars, hotels, parks and individual clients.  Our biggest clients and target market is individual persons and SMEs.

As a start-up how do you ensure that you produce a quality product?

We do testing to test for product strength and lifespan against the environment.  So far, we are testing in three areas Swakopmund, Ondangwa and Windhoek where we left a product each.  We call these “controllers”.  The controllers are exposed to different types of weather, and are being used daily.

The plan is to offer a 5 year guarantee to our clients on their products, therefore the testing will be done for 5 years.

What challenges have you experienced?

Our main challenge has been land.  Because of the nature of our business, we have to operate in an industrial noise zone area. It is hard to secure sufficient space in the right zone area in our range of affordability.

Start-up capital is another challenge, however, we’ve secured some funds through competitions.

What is your philosophy in business?

I believe in being unique and standing out, as this helps you to stand out in business for the consumers.  Always ensure that you are 2 steps ahead of your competition.

What advice will you give to someone that wants to start a business?

Be innovative.  Be different from the competition in that you create a new product, idea or method.

Power Six represents the power of the 6 founders who are all boilermakers by profession.  It is youth owned and is made up of 3 females and 3 males.  It was registered in 2017 and began operations early 2018. They have scooped up prizes at competitions such as SME Compete (2nd place); NCRST FemBioBiz III (3rd place); Creative Business Cup Namibia (Winner); and Entrepreneurship World Cup Namibia (2nd place).

Contact Power Six Investment at:

Paulina: +264 81 428 9844

Email: power6investment@gmail.com

Facebook: Power Six Investment cc

Georg Hellinghausen is a young Namibian entrepreneur who is passionate about technology and aviation. From a young age on, his parents encouraged him to engage in various business activities, and as the founder of Afridrones Aviation, Namibia’s premier drone service provider, he is now pioneering the local UAV market. During his studies abroad, Georg had already started a drone business in Germany. Just before the end of 2018, he returned to his home country, Namibia and took the next step in his career by laying the foundation of Afridrones. The business since then has established a solid client base and is looking into other markets throughout Africa.

“When your customer makes critical business decisions, based on the information you provide him/her with, you have to be spot on with accuracy and resolution.“

What services do you provide?
Afridrones offers UAV/Drone sales and data collection services. Our portfolio is spread across a diverse range of verticals, including but not limited to agricultural and biomass analysis, aerial application of chemicals, wildlife protection and infrastructure inspection.

What is the inspiration behind Afridrones?
I very much believe that drones will revolutionise the world almost as much as the smartphone has transformed our lives just over a decade ago. I remember the moment I flew a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) for the very first time. Back then, most of my friends thought I was crazy and referred to it as a toy. The general public didn’t realise the potential that this tool offers until a few years ago. Aerial videography was the main application and the perception that drones are used only in filmmaking and warfare unfortunately still exists. Now that the ecosystem is maturing, and regulators are also doing their share to integrate UAVs into common airspace safely, we are developing concepts that draw inspiration from conventional methods of agricultural cultivation, anti-poaching and many more.

It was always my intention to return to Namibia and pursue a career that has a direct impact on the local situation. Afridrones’ current service offerings already directly or indirectly affect rural communities, regional economic growth, supports farmers in their decision-making process and most importantly preserves our countries’ precious wildlife.

What would you like to achieve?
During the last months, we have invested heavily in building a strong brand identity and are currently in the process of branching out to other African countries. The brand name was chosen fora particular reason; we are seeking to become Africa’s leading drone services provider. Join us on this journey by following our social channels or applying to join the team.

What challenges have you experienced in this business?
Starting a business is never an easy journey. Whoever tells you otherwise has taken a shortcut somewhere! Especially in Namibia and other African countries, SMEs are facing several challenges that prevent them from establishing their businesses effortlessly. For us, the most significant obstacles were related to funding, regulation but also the extreme drought that Southern Africa experienced in the 18/19 rainfall season. Currently, we are very much constrained by a rule that prevents you from flying beyond your visual line-of-sight. I nevertheless am positive that as the technology itself but also the regulation of drones around the world matures, we can pursue additional use-cases that offer tremendous potential and Return on Investment for our clients.

What is the most interesting aspect of your business?
I’m passionate about every integral part of this business. Turning a couple of pictures into highly accurate, actionable business insights is the most rewarding part of our operations. Don’t get me wrong, flying drones is still a lot of fun and I really enjoy being out in the field, but nothing beats the smile of a happy customer when you present a report that saves his business time and cost.

How do you ensure the quality of your product?
Quality control is essential, and we take this very seriously. When your customer makes critical business decisions, based on the information you provide him/her with, you have to be spot on with accuracy and resolution. We make use of only the best equipment on the market and have partnered with multiple international corporates that are experts in their respective fields. All our data is within predefined accuracy standards, and every piece of hardware that we sell has been thoroughly selected and tested by us. Through our network of over 1400 individuals and companies globally, we could technically source any significant brand and model. The products in our online store though, have all undergone extensive trials and are suitable for use in Namibia and Africa in general.

Afridrones, creates practical and innovative UAV solutions for individuals or companies of all sizes, pushing the limits of what’s possible. They form valuable partnerships and assist you along every step of the way. From concept to accomplishment, they are there to transform the way drones integrate into your business’ growth strategy and operations. For details on the services and products they offer, feel free to visit afridrones.com.

Contact Georg: Email: info@afridrones.com | Cell: +264 81 804 1615 | Twitter/Instagram: @afridrones Facebook: afridronesnamibia

Maria Nepembe, born in Eheke always had an active lifestyle from a young age.  She played soccer for Dawid Bezuidenhout High School, UNAM Bokkies and Bremen Girls in Germany.  As she grew up her interests changed, she lost a lot of weight and weighed between 42 – 45 kgs. In 2016, she fell ill and had a large fibroid removed in December that same year. As soon as she was completely healed in February 2017, she made the conscious decision to get fit and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Together with the assistance of her trainer Simba, her body transformed drastically within 6 months.  She had gained muscles and was looking good.  Her fitness journey was inspirational to many, and it gained so much social media traction that people would tag her in pictures and videos of their fitness routines. In February 2018, Pombili Shilongo approached Maria with the idea to create and work together on a reality show based on fitness.  It was such an exciting idea that it took both Maria and Pombili quite a few months of creating concepts and brainstorming for the show that made NBC Sunday TV interesting again.

Launch Namibia also joined the Social Media bandwagon and invited Maria Nepembe to have a chat about her reality show, Body with Maria Nepembe.

What is your involvement in the production?

I came up with the name Body with Maria Nepembe and Pombili agreed immediately.  90% of the credit goes to Pombili, she did an amazing job.  She is the producer of the show and was in charge of most of the content, flow and storylines.  I contributed to the content here and there and gave my opinion on how I feel and everything that I did not like, we sat down and discussed it.  Simba who owns Fitcity and started my fitness journey, was responsible for the contestant’s transformation. Props goes to Pombili and the crew, they were amazing.

What was the inspiration behind the show?

According to the producer, “I am the face of fitness.” It was inspired by my transformation and the reactions from social media.  So, we decided on doing Body with Maria Nepembe with 10 contestants whereas one person will come out victorious and win the grand price.  The concepts were executed effortlessly and the show was a success and #BodywithMariaNepembe was trending every Sunday.


How was the selection process for the contestants?

We received about 5000 applications and we narrowed it down to 100 applicants that went through to the audition stage, and then finally the 10 contestants that made it to the show.  We looked at people with great stories and motivations because fitness is not just about losing weight.

What challenges have you encountered?

Quite a lot because we were dealing with real people and real-life stories. It was an emotional rollercoaster especially for the contestants.  Embarking on a fitness journey is not easy, the motivation and want to go to the gym is not always there. Clashes between the contestants and the trainers, and breaking under pressure whereby some contestants decide to quit and walk out because they feel the trainers are being too harsh.  We’ve also experienced technical difficulties during production.

What was different about this reality show experience to Big Brother?

With Big Brother I was confined in this house with people that you won’t always get along with but you have no choice but to stay. On Body with Maria Nepembe I had freedom not just of movement, but freedom and choice to change things and the authority to make decisions on different aspects of the show.  I feel like this opportunity gave me a platform to change lives.  I was in a position to help people become better versions of themselves, and that is one of my biggest accomplishments.

If you were to give fitness advice to anyone starting their fitness advice, what will it be?

Do not push yourself.  You do not have to look in the mirror every day or weigh yourself every day.  Each body will react differently, it may happen faster for you than it did for me or vice versa.  Work out for yourself and not for social validation, that way you won’t end up having ridiculous expectations that may put you in a bad emotional space if not met.

Maria Nepembe hopes to create something bigger and better at different locations and with new experiences if the show comes back for a second season.