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The word Genetix (genetics) is a branch of biology that deals with heredity and variation of organisms. Whereas, Metazoa encompasses all animals with differentiated tissues, including nerves and muscles (it also sounded like a cool combination of words hence the project name, GenetixMetazoa.

GenetixMetazoaTM provides reliable DNA matching services (DNA Analysis) at a fast turnaround time to create evidence for livestock theft complaints, genetic registrations for stud animals as well as animal identity validations for insurance companies.  The vision is to become the primary biotechnology laboratory dealing with private livestock forensic services and diagnostics spheres.

The goal is for GenetixMetazoaTM to effectively serve the livestock industry in Namibia via animal identity validation, to establish a leading biotechnology laboratory locally that has the ability to handle scientific molecular research and diagnosis of common diseases.

What services do you offer?

Provides undisputable identification of animal’s where ear tags, brand marks, tattoos and/or any other form of identification is deficient. Our identification makes the use of Deoxyribonucleic acid  (DNA) which is uniquely present in all body parts of the animal. This essentially means the animal traces itself and can be identified when found even without ear tags, brand marks, tattoos or other tracking devices.  This identification technology is admissible and has been applied in the court of law to resolve livestock theft disputes, game poaching cases and livestock insurance claim validations.

In order to curb livestock insurance fraud, we profile all covered animals on request by insurance companies. The process of profiling is done on the farm at the time of risk analysis using our quick and simple method of collecting and preserving the genetic identity of all individual animals. These genetic materials are kept in our gene bank and remain viable for 17.5 years which is essentially the lifespan of most domestic animals. When a claim is launched, insurance companies conduct their investigations processing and such investigations are deficient of evidence of true animal identity. i.e in cases where only meat or blood of the diseased animal was found we are requested to take samples from the remains and match those against the profiles in our gene bank.

What was the most exciting case you’ve dealt with?

I’ve had a case whereby the farm worker was stealing the kids every time a goat gave birth and was weaned.  The farmer then suspected foul play and he wanted to ensure that the kids were not from his goats.  After the necessary testing, it was established that there was a linkage determined from the genetic makeup.

We also dealt with an interesting case that linked meat material in a cold room of a butchery to the farmer’s farm who reported his cow stolen and decided to use our services based on his suspicions.

What challenges have you experienced?

Having to wheel in insurance companies and/other cooperate clients to sign up for our services. However, the biggest challenge has been the fact that there is no animal genetics laboratory in Namibia leading to substantial cost of referral to animal laboratory such as in South Africa.

Advice to anyone that wants to get into the same business?

Educate yourself on Namibian laws and policies concerning forensic cases.  Have knowledge on the chain of custody.

What is your philosophy in business?

Reliable DNA services with an intact chain of custody. Being ethical in practice.  Upholding confidentiality in the workplace.

What is your 5 year goal plan?

To open up an animal genetics laboratory in Namibia.

Dr Leya Mwense Elago is a mother to a beautiful girl called Lovisa Elago. She obtained her Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine (BVM) from the University of Zambia, in 2015 and a Research Based Masters in Veterinary Medicine from Chonbuk National University, 2018 where she was able to publish her first journal titled “Vaccination of goats with a combination Salmonella vector expressing four Brucella antigens (BLS, PrpA, Omp19, and SOD) confers protection against Brucella abortus infection” with the Journal of Veterinary Science.  She is working full time at GenetixMetazoa which became active in 2018. She can be contacted on:

Cell: +264 81 157 5688/+264 81 6846401

Email: dsnamibian@gmail.com / lmwense@yahoo.com

Facebook Page: GenetixMetazoa

Facebook Page: Dindoli Scientific Namibia

 

LEFA is Namibia’s most dynamic urban mobility start-up that focuses on transforming Namibia’s transport through technology making it safe, reliable and convenient. LEFA was founded on research which was done in the Namibian market to try gain insight on the current state of the passenger transportation industry. After results revealed that individuals hesitated from making use of available services due to long waiting hours, flat fees and safety issues.

What is LEFA and what services do you provide?

LEFA is an urban mobility start-up that seeks to transform Namibia’s passenger transport industry through technology, making it safe, convenient and efficient.

LEFA facilitates passenger transportation within cities, to and from the airport by connecting passengers and drivers through the LEFA App.

What is the inspiration behind LEFA?

LEFA was born out of a need to provide Namibians with a safe, reliable and convenient transport option and help discourage individuals from driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.

What challenges have you faced?

When new technology is introduced into a market, it goes through a technology adoption cycle with various challenges. One of the main challenges were to convince drivers on how this new ride-hailing app will improve their business or why it is convenient for passengers to hail a cab through an app instead of calling. To conquer technology adoption challenges, requires a lot of customer education to convince and validate the advantages of this new technology and its impact on people’s lives.

What is different from LEFA and other transportation companies operating in Windhoek?

LEFA makes use of technology to improve passenger transportation. With the LEFA app, there is more transparency, improved safety and efficiency in the service.

What advise will you give to anyone hoping to enter the same business?

Be ready for the uniqueness of the Namibian market. Models and methods that work in other markets do not work in Namibia. One constantly needs to pivot and tweak to adopt business models and methods in the Namibian market.

Melkies Ausiku is the founder of LEFA Transportation Services (Pty) Ltd, the company which owns the LEFA transportation app. He completed his BEng (Electrical) at University of Pretoria. After a brief spell in the engineering industry, he embarked on an entrepreneurship journey which led to the birth of LEFA. His startup LEFA earned him invitations to attend the Vivatechnology Innovation Festival in Paris where the world’s brightest minds and talents in tech startups meet. He has also been invited to give a talk on tech focused transport startups at the Ride Right Now conference in Minsk, Belarus as well as Greentec Capital Africa Foundation’s Entrepreneurs On The Move Event that took place in Abijan in September 2019. When he is not glued to the computer optimizing and monitoring LEFA, coordinating drivers or building relationships with corporate companies, he is on a tour guiding tourists to some of Namibia’s most iconic destinations, learning German or trying very hard to be a great defender at DTS Sports Club’s Under 30 team. He is currently working on an expansion plan for LEFA to launch in other towns in Namibia as well as neighboring countries. You can reach him at Melkies@lefa.com.na or on Twitter @The_Mel_Nerd.

 

 

Romancia Uises had a dream about young ladies who went on a criminal path and slid through the ditch.  Everything started going south and people started dying.  That is how the inspiration of her novel The Heist came about.  Romancia is an avid reader who enjoys Korean drama, jazz music and never shies away from engaging people.

The Heist is a Namibian novel that follows the lives of three friends that grew up together in an orphanage, as they rob a bank.  The different character in this book explores the different dynamics of friendship and just how each person plays a role in the lives of the other.  The novel is a compilation of a Volume 1, which was initially published on Amazon and a Volume 2 which is entirely new.  It explores themes of crime, peer pressure, young adulthood, vengeance and the consequences of choice.  It dabbles in the test of friendship and how the three friends may overcome the situation that they find themselves in.

Romancia as an author, lives by the words of Tony Morrison, “I wrote my first book because I wanted to read it.”  She had not come across a locally published novel of its kind, so she wrote the story that she wanted to read, and read it she has. She thoroughly enjoyed the process that went into creating this novel, and hopes that her readers are able to relate to her characters. She wants her readers to be able to understand the balance of life through her words and that love and friendship is the only things that keeps us together in the end.  The Heist is a Crime Drama/ Thriller novel that is a suitable read for people aged 18 and above.

The Heist Vol1&2 will be launched on:

Date: 06 December 2019

Place: The National Library

Time: 18h00 – 20h30

Tickets: N$ 210.00 per person includes copy of the book

Snacks and light entertainment on scene

 

The book will be sold for N$ 180.00 after its launch. To pre-order or buy contact Romancia on:

Cell: +264 81 373 6551

Email: uisesrr@gmail.com

Instagram: @Romanciauises

Hamika Trading Group derives its name from the combination of the first two letters from the names of founder Haishonga Mike Kauvitheni, and it offers its services country wide. Hamika Trading Group, is the cash prize sponsor for Pitch Night Volume – 3 and the upcoming Pitch Night Volume – 4.

1. Tell us about yourself and your company?
My Name is Kauvitheni Haishonga, I was born in Ruacana and grew up in a small village called Uulwege in Okando Uukwambi with my grandparents.  Business wise, I run a portfolio of businesses and investments with various divisions, from Capital, Technology, Property and Industrial Machinery maintenance.

2. Knowing what you know now as an entrepreneur, what mistakes do you wish you
could have avoided?
Get the right team around you that shares one goal and guide them to carry your vision. Stop being “Mr. Do it all”, everyone needs help to reach the set goals.

3. Seeing as your company is a group of companies, which is your most lucrative
division?
We started with Hamika Mobi-lift division as it is our first venture, and it remains to be the most lucrative. This division deals with the inspection and load testing, lifting equipment operator training and certification, repairs, heavy duty equipment rental such as cranes, forklifts among others.

4. Which division would you say you are most passionate about?
I would say all of them. When I started my business, the first thing I did was to write down everything that I am passionate about and what makes me happy. These varied from Technology, Capital, Lifting Equipment (Cranes) and Property. However, I currently most excited about the Pocket Bar. We are in the age of technology and it fascinates me that we are about to launch an application that would allow businesses and individuals alike to order their liquor, and have it delivered. Even though the application is still in the development process, we have started offering the delivery service to some businesses in the coastal area already. My hope is to offer this service in Windhoek and the Northern area too once the application has been launched.

5. How does a young entrepreneur achieve/get to grow to the stage that you have
achieved?
They must not let people’s opinions and fears have an impact on their dreams. Everyone is designed differently, we just need to find our motive or inspiration as to why we are doing it. My advice is, to not let our current economic situation make us lazy because things are tough, of course things will be tough. Nothing comes easy. My point is, if you can survive when things are tough then you can survive anything. They must not wait for the opportunity, they should create their own opportunities and own it.

6. Provide a brief overview of all the divisions under Hamika Trading Group?
HAMIKA Business Consultants provides a service to companies such as compiling business plans; project business proposals as well as business profiles. This division also entails a service of registering companies as it also assists businesses in applying for SME and Employment Equity Certification.

HAMIKA Aquarius operate under a memorandum of understanding between HAMIKA Trading group and Aquarius Brands™. This division is the least active and it deals with provision products include AWS AquaBoy® air to water generators™, AquaSaver™ water purification systems and Boomerang™ high-capacity compact bottling machines.

HAMIKA Capital deals with the provision of Retirement Funds to in house -staff and outside payroll service to provide seamless data transfers to ease the administrative burden for companies. It assists the company in establishing and maintaining a solid retirement plan that promotes and supports the goals and objectives of your business, control costs and gives both employers and employees a sense of security. It gives the Company more control over the capital. Currently we have 20 permanent employees to whom we offer this service to.

HAMIKA Mobilift deals with the inspection and load testing, lifting equipment operator training and certification, overhaul & repair, equipment rental: cranes, forklift, boom lift, scissor lift etc.; maintain defects picked up on machines as well as selling spare parts to other companies for cranes , forklifts as well as earth moving equipment. So far these services have been provided to companies such as Powercom.

Pocket Bar ™ offers delivery of wine, beer, spirits, non-alcoholic mixers and all type of condoms through the mobile app, Website and phone order with an easy-to-use setup and streamlined interface. The aim of Pocket Bar is to create a retailer network platform for the consumers on their mobile device and avoid standing in long line & help retailers to identify and
own their audiences by keeping a direct relationship.

HAMIKA Properties deals with the construction of houses, hospitals, schools, offices, and leisure centers etc. It is was also responsible for the construction of the block of toilets in the Tutaleni area in Walvis Bay in 2018.

HAMIKA Technology deals with developing Mobile apps, software applications specifically for ports and cargo terminals. Which includes port management & community system, a single- and multi-purpose terminal management system, a maritime invoicing solution as well as an oil & gas export administration system. Supply of Aviation – Obstruction – Light, Solar – Aviation – Obstruction – Light, Solar – Airport – Lighting, Helipad – Light, LED – Marine – Lantern, and Aircraft – Warning – Sphere.

Contact Hamika Trading Group on:
Email: info@hamikagroup.com
Website: www.hamikagroup.com
Tell: +264 64 220 560
Physical Address: Langer Heinrich Street Walvis Bay, Coastal Industrial Park No. 8

(Image from left to right: Launch Coordinator Tutala Uushona, Jesaya Mwandingi (Winner) and Francis Shilongo Launch Coordinator)
Mwandingi the fourth winner, and the first male to win at Pitch Night, pitched a cell phone application called Jaiva which is meant to identify authorized and registered taxis in Windhoek. He says, his application is meant to assist in the combating of crimes such as theft, sexual assault and murder committed bu unauthorized cars that drive under the pretense of being a taxi and, taxi drivers that partake in criminal activities using their taxis. His innovation was inspired by the rise in crimes committed. He recognizes that taxi’s are the widely used form of public transport, and his application is aimed at safety for taxi users. The pilot of his application is currently available on google play-store for all android users. He hopes to partner up with the City Police for the success of his application which would also be accessible to non-smartphone users by way of sms.
Jesaya, who is a student at the university of Science and Technology won against Julius Burton and Soini Nangula. Pitch Night was supported by its partners, 99 Fm, BIPA, Tafel Lite, Zero 9 Media, The Confab, The Logo Shop, Twapa Events, Hamika Trading Group, Ubuntu Events Technology, Francis Photo Studio, Esh-Ham Business Consultants and Josy Nghipandua. Pitch Night will be back in October.  

Uncalled follows the life of 21 year old Ndapewa Kamati who is a university student as she experiences life, and how violent it can be. The author was inspired by real life situations that happen around her. She explores different forms of violence that
exist. She carefully chose a cover that depicts how people in life are obsessed with the idea of perfection and carry themselves as if they are faultless and whole yet, they are empty inside or broken hence the cracks on the cover. With this book, she
hopes that it prompts her readers to look within themselves, and mend and heal from within. She hopes that her readers learn to identify toxic relationships that they might have with themselves, their partners, friends, acquaintances and family. She
also hopes that, her readers are inspired to take charge of their lives.

Delila Katanga considers herself a jack of all trades who loves adventures, and upgrading her skills. She is her biggest critic and lives by the words, “the younger you are, the more powerful you are. The older you get, the wiser you become.” The book will cater to young adults from the age of 18 and above and, it will be available for sale at N$180.00 a copy. To view the book trailer, visit: Uncalled by Delila Katanga on Facebook. To get more information on how to buy the book, contact:

Email: writersunit2@gmail.com
Instagram: lila_kat
Facebook: Delila Katanga

The Story of Hope is a self-published story by Tuhafeni George Dasilva Hishitelwa. True to its title, the book depicts the author’s lived experiences of growing up through hardships and poverty and eventually overcoming them. It is an inspirational tale of not letting one’s circumstances define them. It is indeed a hopeful story that serves to affirm that, “hope presses us against all odds and facilitates the impossible in becoming the probable.” The book has 4 editions currently out, with the 1 st edition having been published in 2017. It goes for a selling price of N$ 300.00 and it is available at Bookden, Radical Books and alternatively call +264 81 408 3328 to order. Further, the author has written 2 other books that would be published this year. He runs a mentorship program for the youth who are willing to make an impact but lack the means and or need direction. Reviews of The Story of Hope can be found on Youtube, among other platforms.

Hamika Trading Group derives its name from the combination of the first two letters from the names of founder Haishonga Mike Kauvitheni, and it offers its services country wide. Hamika Trading Group, is the cash prize sponsor for Pitch Night Volume – 3 and the upcoming Pitch Night Volume – 4.

1. Tell us about yourself and your company?
My Name is Kauvitheni Haishonga, I was born in Ruacana and grew up in a small village called Uulwege in Okando Uukwambi with my grandparents.  Business wise, I run a portfolio of businesses and investments with various divisions, from Capital, Technology, Property and Industrial Machinery maintenance.

2. Knowing what you know now as an entrepreneur, what mistakes do you wish you
could have avoided?
Get the right team around you that shares one goal and guide them to carry your vision. Stop being “Mr. Do it all”, everyone needs help to reach the set goals.

3. Seeing as your company is a group of companies, which is your most lucrative
division?
We started with Hamika Mobi-lift division as it is our first venture, and it remains to be the most lucrative. This division deals with the inspection and load testing, lifting equipment operator training and certification, repairs, heavy duty equipment rental such as cranes, forklifts among others.

4. Which division would you say you are most passionate about?
I would say all of them. When I started my business, the first thing I did was to write down everything that I am passionate about and what makes me happy. These varied from Technology, Capital, Lifting Equipment (Cranes) and Property. However, I currently most excited about the Pocket Bar. We are in the age of technology and it fascinates me that we are about to launch an application that would allow businesses and individuals alike to order their liquor, and have it delivered. Even though the application is still in the development process, we have started offering the delivery service to some businesses in the coastal area already. My hope is to offer this service in Windhoek and the Northern area too once the application has been launched.

5. How does a young entrepreneur achieve/get to grow to the stage that you have
achieved?
They must not let people’s opinions and fears have an impact on their dreams. Everyone is designed differently, we just need to find our motive or inspiration as to why we are doing it. My advice is, to not let our current economic situation make us lazy because things are tough, of course things will be tough. Nothing comes easy. My point is, if you can survive when things are tough then you can survive anything. They must not wait for the opportunity, they should create their own opportunities and own it.

6. Provide a brief overview of all the divisions under Hamika Trading Group?
HAMIKA Business Consultants provides a service to companies such as compiling business plans; project business proposals as well as business profiles. This division also entails a service of registering companies as it also assists businesses in applying for SME and Employment Equity Certification.

HAMIKA Aquarius operate under a memorandum of understanding between HAMIKA Trading group and Aquarius Brands™. This division is the least active and it deals with provision products include AWS AquaBoy® air to water generators™, AquaSaver™ water purification systems and Boomerang™ high-capacity compact bottling machines.

HAMIKA Capital deals with the provision of Retirement Funds to in house -staff and outside payroll service to provide seamless data transfers to ease the administrative burden for companies. It assists the company in establishing and maintaining a solid retirement plan that promotes and supports the goals and objectives of your business, control costs and gives both employers and employees a sense of security. It gives the Company more control over the capital. Currently we have 20 permanent employees to whom we offer this service to.

HAMIKA Mobilift deals with the inspection and load testing, lifting equipment operator training and certification, overhaul & repair, equipment rental: cranes, forklift, boom lift, scissor lift etc.; maintain defects picked up on machines as well as selling spare parts to other companies for cranes , forklifts as well as earth moving equipment. So far these services have been provided to companies such as Powercom.

Pocket Bar ™ offers delivery of wine, beer, spirits, non-alcoholic mixers and all type of condoms through the mobile app, Website and phone order with an easy-to-use setup and streamlined interface. The aim of Pocket Bar is to create a retailer network platform for the consumers on their mobile device and avoid standing in long line & help retailers to identify and
own their audiences by keeping a direct relationship.

HAMIKA Properties deals with the construction of houses, hospitals, schools, offices, and leisure centers etc. It is was also responsible for the construction of the block of toilets in the Tutaleni area in Walvis Bay in 2018.

HAMIKA Technology deals with developing Mobile apps, software applications specifically for ports and cargo terminals. Which includes port management & community system, a single- and multi-purpose terminal management system, a maritime invoicing solution as well as an oil & gas export administration system. Supply of Aviation – Obstruction – Light, Solar – Aviation – Obstruction – Light, Solar – Airport – Lighting, Helipad – Light, LED – Marine – Lantern, and Aircraft – Warning – Sphere.

Contact Hamika Trading Group on:
Email: info@hamikagroup.com
Website: www.hamikagroup.com
Tell: +264 64 220 560
Physical Address: Langer Heinrich Street Walvis Bay, Coastal Industrial Park No. 8

Team Namibia, a member-based non-profit movement aimed at the promotion of quality local manufactured products and services, held a donor event – Team Namibia Lion’ Den – for Katutura-based SME’s that partake in Team Namibia’s SME entrepreneurship training programme, financed by the Embassy of Finland. The event was held on 15 August 2019 at Kubata City Hotel, Windhoek, where 11 (eleven) entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to secure funding, material support and market access.

The donor event arranged by Team Namibia and funded by the Finnish Embassy attracted 48 guests from embassies and high commissions, representatives from donor agencies and non-governmental organisations’s, trust and foundations, financial service providers and senior civil servants from government authorities and state-owned enterprises. The event received the attention from ten ministries,  including the presence of the Office of the Prime Minister and a representative from the Secretariat to the Cabinet.

11 (eleven) participants of the SME entrepreneurship training programme took to the platform and presented in less than five minutes their unique products and services. Having started with their businesses in the informal sector all now have registered businesses and the majority have also concluded their business plans.

SMEs who participated at the Team Namibia pitching event included: Jeno’s Kitchen; Twenty-Five Contractors Training Centre;  Fojarat Investment; Namib Hospice Health Care Training Academy; Nampila S. Tailoring and Design; Kona MH Chicken Supply cc, Fluffy Mallows, Alehcks Portable Container Homes, Linda P Creations, Katutura Institute of Computer Training and Lexious.

Pitching is an initiative to help entrepreneurs access funding and/ or material in order to grow businesses. It is about convincing donors to inject funds in one’s business.The SMEs addressed their financial projections and indeed entrepreneurs delivered powerful pitches. Different guests offered advice and pledged support to the businesses financially or by providing equipment or in any other way.

The products and services  offered by the up-and-coming businesses range from bakery, housing containers, confectionaries, fashion design and tailoring,  computer training, supply of chicken eggs,  training in customer services,  production of cleaning detergents and  building maintenance on a retainer basis.

Jan Coetzee, founder of Headway Consulting Pty Ltd and chairperson of Team Namibia in his opening remarks said: “I believe that this project is running at the time when it is most needed. Many of you are faced with budget constraints. Can you then imagine how our small business strive to making ends meet? Believe me, every little bit of support counts”.

“I trust that your support and contributions will become an important milestone in each and every business presenting here today. I am confident that your presence here today also signifies your support to the activities of our organisation and hope that we can forge strategic partnerships and can continue to build on today’s activities.”

Guests actively engaged and were enthused by some of the SMEs participant’s products. Jeno’s Kitchen high quality cupcakes were likened to the cupcakes of Washington, United States of America aka Maureen Posthuma, marketing manager, of Namibia Tourism Board. Andreas Simon, public relations officer at Ministry of Mines and Energy recommended SMEs participants of the good work they are doing. His opinion is that, a product like, Fluffly marshmallows should be should not only appear on retailers’ shelves but a should also be provided as a sweet snack on every aircraft flying to and from Namibia. Eike Krafft, Olthaver & List Group said, maintaining and continuously improving the quality of products produced will increase chances of getting shelf space. Some of the SMEs’ products can compete internationally and they would need to strive to eventually to secure that.  Rosemary Shipiki from Pupkewitz Holdings, admired the home-based care service offered by Namib Hospice Health Care Training Academy and felt that a significant gap is being filled in the local market with this service.

Topias Tamminen, representative of the Embassy of Finland said: “Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs is the key to the revival of the Namibian economy. Supporting SMEs is a sure way to revive and grow the Namibian economy”.

Bärbel Kirchner, account director of Team Namibia highlighted the need to continuous support and invest in upcoming local businesses, to enable economic sustainability:  “We hope that indeed we can support our small businesses get off the ground – either through financial or material support or indeed through market access.”

Finally, SMEs participants commended the Embassy of Finland and Team Namibia for the opportunity granted and business skills received. The donor event provided the opportunity for networking, exposure and development, which may lead to products and services expansion.

The draw of the business cards during the networking session also became the acme of the event. Andreas Simon, public relations officer of Ministry of Mines and Energy , Utaraa Hovela of NAMCOR and Nomvula Kambida of Namibia Post and Telecoms Holdings walked away with a bottle each of local produced wine courtesy of Erongo Winery Mountain Pvt Ltd.

At the end of the “hunting spree”, each lion went home, with the ‘Team Namibia Uukumwe shopping bags” with different local products courtesy of Namibia Breweries, Namibia Dairies and Desert Secrets Namibia and Fluffly Marshmallows. Team Namibia aims to make local products and services part of everyday life – a sure way to build consumer confidence in local products and services.

Written By: Tutala Natalia Uushona

From left to right: Ms Anna Vambe: Team Leader: Start-up Namibia Incubation Centre, GIZ ( GIZ sponsored the winning prizes on behalf of the Government of Germany); Ms Iriya Jona – Nam-Oceanic Kelp Production Enterprise CC 1st prize: N$ 80 000.00 ; Dr Leya Elago – Genetix Metazoa TM 2nd Prize: N$ 60 000.00 ; Ms Paulina Alfeus – Power Six Investment CC 3rd Prize: N$ 40 000.00; Ms Loide Amadhila – Chrisla Essentials Cosmetics CC 4th prize :Mentorship and Export readiness support; Ms Aletha Afrikaner – EarthChild Creations CC 5th prize: N$ 20 000.00; Ms Lovisa Immanuel: Manager for Innovation and Industrial Research Division (NCRST).

On 31 July 2019, the National Commission on Research Science and Technology hosted the final stage of the National Innovation Challenge for Women and FemBioBiz Challenge season III in collaboration with GIZ and HIVOS. It aims to create a network of bioentrepreneurs and provide support to the entrepreneur and finally create awareness for women in the bio sciences. The challenge had started with 47 participants who had gone through two eliminating phases of training and pitching. Leaving 14 participants in the final stage where they pitch their ideas to an audience and a panel of judges which consisted of;

  • Mr. John Mbango – Development Bank of Namibia Head of Lending Department,
  • Mr. Gerson Shaanika – SME Development and Promotion Official at City of Windhoek (Bokamoso Entrepreneurial Centre,
  • Ms. Tanya Turipamwe Stroh – Creative Director at Turipamwe Design,
  • Mrs. Geraldine Itana – Programmes Associate Gender and Governance at UNDP,
  • Mrs. Uajorokisa Akwenye – CEO of One Economy Foundation at the Office of the First Lady,
  • Mrs. Anna Vambe – Start-up Namibia Incubation Centre at GIZ.

The businesses / ideas that made it through to the final stage of pitching included, Genetix Metazoa which deals with animal forensic testing by Dr. Leya Elago. Synthetic furniture done through a harmless process to the environment under Power Six Investment cc by Paulina Alfeus. A FindIt SMS Directory that would provide visibility to service providers via text message by Desiree Cloete. Julia Nangolo’s Learning Hub that would make study material accessible to grade 10 and 12 learners. The Millenial Ondelela by Chantal Kambrude which is a textile design. Mist Agricultural Laboratory that would be specialising in training emerging farmers on soil testing, bookkeeping, and food testing etc. by Sophia Isala which was presented by her co-partner Maria Shipapo. Efolyekaya Namibia which manufactures and supplies alternative building materials made from plastic and is 100% recyclable and an affordable and durable solution to housing.

We’ve also seen a number of ideas from the cosmetic industry like; Sarita oil blends by Nali Andreki, a unisex organic hair product for retaining moisture and assisting with hair growth. Zodidi Gaseb’s Africa Naturals Production cc which produces hair and skin products, and offer consultations on hair and skin care. They currently have 10 products under their line. Chrisla Essentials Cosmetics cc by Loide Amadhila, a hair and skin product line which has 8 products under its line. These products tackle anything from acne, scarring, maintaining a youthful look, moisture, hair length and growth and finally aroma therapy. Hannah Nangula’s Foundation which consists of 8 shades and is the first Namibian full coverage cream with a matte finish that comes with a brush. Other ideas tapped in the agricultural sector such as, Mo-nize Farm2Plate by Monica Gwala who owns a farm that produces vegetables in Otjiwarongo. They also farm poultry and produces eggs with the hope of supplying SADC wide. Lusia Simon who is based in Endola pitched Mama N Agricultural Enterprises which is an integrated food production and processing that would focus on the production of tilapia fish, chicken and vegetables. Finally, Nam-Oceanic Kelp Production Enterprise cc by Iriya Jona that would be producing chicken feed from seaweed that is farmed from the ocean and will cover all nutritional elements required, hence no supplements will be needed and they would be wholly produced in Namibia.

All these businesses / ideas tapped into different industries that have not been fully explored in Namibia and each pitcher brought a different flare to the industry through their innovative approach. The end of the challenge saw Iriya Jona walk away with the 1st prize worth N$ 80 000.00, Dr. Leya Elago 2nd prize worth N$ 60 000.00, Paulina Alfeus 3rd prize worth N$ 40 000.00, Loide Amadhila in 4th place, who indicated that she did not need funds so her cash prize was transferred to the 5th place pitcher, Aletha Afrikaner worth N$ 20 000.00. GIZ sponsored the prizes on behalf of the government of Germany. These challenges are very innovative and assist start-ups and we at Launch Magazine applaud the NCRST for empowering women in entrepreneurship.