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 The Anzisha Prize

African Leadership Academy’s Anzisha Prize is open to Africans aged between 15 and 22.

CONDITIONS You must be a founder of an existing venture. This can be a business enterprise, invention, or a social project in any field or industry. Businesses are judged on impact, scalability, and job creation.

BENEFITS World-renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership curriculum training, consultation and mentorship services as well as a share in $100 000 funding. Learn more

 

The Agribusiness Africa Window

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund is geared towards establishing agribusinesses.

CONDITIONS Open to private companies worldwide who can show innovative business ideas in the fields of agribusiness, financial services and value chains that have benefit rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

BENEFITS Businesses can request between USD 250 000 and USD 1 500 000 for an innovative business idea in this industry. Learn more

 

Enhancing Growth in New Enterprises (Engine) 

Implemented by Technoserve and funded by the UK Government, this multi-year business plan competition seeks to equip Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) with the necessary skills and resources.

CONDITIONS Applicants must be Ghanaian citizens 20 years or older with a proposition for an expansion on an existing business or new business based in Ghana.

BENEFITS Winners will receive seed capital, business development services, opportunities to present to private investors and links to financial institutions. Learn more

Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme 

The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers USD 100 million for young African entrepreneurs

CONDITIONS You need to be older than 18, and your businesses should be under three years old.

BENEFITS The prize includes 12 weeks of intensive training, mentoring and seed capital. Learn more

Euromena Award for Innovative African Startups

The first edition of Euromena Consulting’s awards is aimed at African start-ups promoting ICT and social development in Africa.

CONDITIONS Projects have to be related to Africa and/or established in the region; operational, or on the verge of launching.

BENEFITS Three finalists share €10,000. Learn more

 

Innovation Prize for Africa

The IPA supports African entrepreneurs, inventors or academics who could potentially provide homegrown solutions to some of the continent’s everyday challenges

CONDITIONS Applications will be accepted from all Africans including those living in the diaspora, who can show pioneering achievements that contribute towards developing new products, increasing efficiency and/or saving cost in Africa.

BENEFITS In addition to the lucrative US$150 000 cash prize shared among three winners, all nominees receive a US$5 000 voucher and a network of resources to help you implement, fund, and scale your solution. Learn more

 

Miss Africa Seed Funding for African Women in Tech Businesses 2018

An initiative led by DCA Academy that offers grants to support women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

CONDITIONS Applicants must be a current resident of an African country, either as an individual aged 18 or older, or a representative of an NGO or social enterprise based in Africa with demonstrated leadership potential. Proposals or projects must have a tangible impact for women and girls in computer science and/or STEM-related fields.

BENEFITS A US$5 000 grand prize to the winner, and $1 000 to two finalists. Learn more

 

Ashden International Awards for Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries 2018

One of the world’s biggest green energy awards, which rewards innovative enterprises and programmes that deliver, or play a key part in enabling the delivery of sustainable energy systems and help build a low-carbon future.

CONDITIONS Open to NGOs, government organisations and social enterprises delivering work in at least one of the UN’s developing regions – see their list of eligible countries.

BENEFITS $20 000 to the winner in each of the six categories. Learn more

 

Entrepreneurs’ Organisation Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs 2018

This global competition is aimed at student entrepreneurs who actively run a business.

CONDITIONS Open to undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor’s degree, who are either owners, founders or controlling shareholders of a company that is at least six months old with generated revenue of US$500 or US$1,000 in investment/backing.

BENEFITS A combination of cash and business services, which vary by location, is awarded to 3 finalists. Learn more

 

She Leads Africa Accelerator

This annual prize goes to a female entrepreneur in Nigeria.

CONDITIONS Applicants must be between 18 and 35 with an existing business based in Nigeria, less than three years old and with less than $50000 in external funding. This scholarship includes media coverage to raise your profile, access to Nigeria’s best business minds, and an opportunity for investment.

BENEFITS A six-month program and 2 million Nigerian Naira in investment capital. Learn more 

African Leadership Academy,

http://www.africanleadershipacademy.org/funding-opportunities/

 

Northend Solar Solutions was formed in 2015 with a vision to provide affordable solar solutions to the people, we have 3 energy shops, one in Oshakti, Mobile shop in Rundu and warehouse in Windhoek. Northend solar Solutions employees 20 permanent employees and 3 interns. We will be expanding to Ehnana and Gobabis later next year.

What motivated me to start the business was mainly to provide low cost lighting solutions to the people, solar is very expensive and not everyone can afford, hence i wanted to focus on affordable solar solutions as i believe we all need to have access to clean green energy. We have solutions that can provide lights and cell phone charging which start from N$200. A lot off solar shops are selling very expensive solar solutions, we aim to provide low costs solutions that make it easy for everyone tp afford.

Fear off the Unknown is holding back the youth, the youth are afraid to invest in long term businesses as they don’t want to feel the pain when business is going bad. The youth are not thinking off the 5 year strategic wealth plan. The other thing as the youth we are competing to much with each other, we not working together, we need to bring our resources together and build JV companies that can stand a chance against bigger companies for projects.

I am part off the Young Entrepreneur Group, where we bring the Namibian youth together to build business networks and partnerships. We look into projects and bring all the resources together, thats the difference we doing at Northend Solar, We bringing unity among the youth and encourage partnerships.

My final words to anyone willing to start a business is that, You should start small but dream big. work with your own pace and keep working hard, the results will come. Invest in long term projects and remember the aim is to be wealthy, not rich. You need to have value, your business needs to add value.

Quote : Focus on what matters….

Well, during the past nine months when we started operating, Ndjuluwa97 Academy consisted of 5 employees and has enrolled a number of 74 learners. During the first school term 50 improved and performed exceptionally well and during the second term the number of learners decreased to 56 due to their schools offering afternoon classes which were offered for free by the learners’ teachers. Currently we have enrolled 71 learners.

My motivation stems from the need to assist learners who struggle academically, the desire and passion to make a difference in someone’s life, the society at large and meeting the government halfway with regards to educating learners to be productive when they reach adulthood and be the providers to their parents.

The drawbacks which hinder the youth to venture into the SME sector are quite diverse, collateral, lack of finance from external sponsors be it private or public, lack of local support from  the society, lack of self and business identity, the absence of motivation and money driven desires, the layout of business knowledge and less skills, no creativity or inattentiveness, no proper set up business plans, laziness and the blame-game because young people enjoy complaining and shifting the blame to the government, family, friends and society for most of the downfalls which makes matters worse.

The business world is diverse as it does not only have to be about making money, one has to be patient, courageous, diligent, innovative, convincing, confident, loyal, goal-orientated, punctual, duty-bound, polite for the business to succeed. The most important thing to do is to start and once started one should always remember to stay focused on their priorities, focus on promoting quality to gain a competitive advantage over other businesses offering same service. 

1.Tell us a brief history about your company?

Sweet Valley Private College is a credible Namibian private institution registered by the Ministry of Industry and Trade as SWEET VALLEY PRIVATE COLLEGE AND TRAINING CONSULTANTS. Sweet Valley is incorporated as a close corporation under the Namibian laws as of September 2015 with an aim to become a centre of academic excellence that prepares committed, diligent, independent, pro-active and productive citizens through offering tutorial classes, training and workshops to established businesses and co-operate businesses, and business consultancy services.

We are often asked, “What is it that you do?” We tell them, humbly and yet truthfully: we do amazing things. We help solve big challenges. In one word “ingenuity” has been and will always be a driving force behind our success. Education is transformation. At Sweet Valley Private College, we take it personally. It is our privilege, not just our responsibility, to create unique academic, co-curricular and relational milestones in the lives of our students. The Sweet Valley experience creates context for knowledge gained, provides opportunities to apply what is learned and refines a broader purpose—a vocation or calling—in each student’s life.

Sweet Valley Private College before is inception was designed to be; a tool that can touch hearts, souls; turn around lives, and a passport to infinity opportunities. And if you can touch hearts, souls and change lives, that is limitless. Meant to offer a tool for the mind; that pushes the human race forward and that will be limitless to everyone and people will eternally get more out of what we plant in them today.

2.What motivated you to start your own company?

The desire to design a system to demonstrate that the trend of weaker learners’ performance can be reversed and that all learners can master academic standards if they are given time, support and instruction that focus on their academic needs.

Our aim of education is not to develop one single virtue but to produce healthy normal human beings who understand the meaning of life and what it demands from them through education. From childhood to youth, students must be constantly reminded by educationists and psychologists that the fundamental law of life is co-operation, not self-aggrandizement or domination of conflict. If students are intellectually and morally brought up on co-operation, most of our troubles would be at an end and life would be much healthier, richer and nobler than ever before. Education in its essence is the soul of society as highly educated people have critical intelligence of an exceptional order.

Our motivation also come from our strong belief that education produce well-cultured and wise men. It is often said that the children of today are the citizens of tomorrow. If children of today partake Sweet Valley Private College and study hard, then they will surely become good citizens in future. It is not easy to measure the loss which the human race has suffered on account of want of education by men and women who had exceptional talent but could not make full use of it.

3.Is there business in the education sector?

For us at Sweet Valley Private College we take pride at what we do. But to answer your question, there is more pride in fulfillment of our calling to educate the person for their personal enrichment before business. like any other sector of the economy yes there is business but this sector is not for the easy at heart due to competition and your results are always publicly displayed in newspapers ,websites and scrutinized. Considering that Sweet Valley Private College, like most government institutions, is a pro-poor institution whose tutorial service delivery protocols mirror the aspirations of the majority of poor Namibians, we are striving to be formally engaged as value adding partner then later give more attention to the balance of the balance sheet.

4.Give final words of encouragement to those who are looking to start their own business.

Get started!

And do your level best, with the best of what you have and the best results will be inevitable.

“Your brand is what people say about you after you leave the room” — Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Most startups during the early stages of their development make the huge mistake of ignoring the importance of branding. Many entrepreneurs tend to obsess on the product, and rightly so. But what is also important is researching and defining their target customer, and then creating a brand identity that will focus on the product’s benefits for them, before just pushing it into the marketplace.

You can think about a brand in the way you think about a person. Just like a person, a brand has its own identity, voice, values personality, beliefs, story, character, attitude, and soul.

What is the importance of branding for your startup?

One of the main importance of branding for startups is that it helps the new organization establish its own identity. As stated earlier, the brand is not just the company’s logo, it involves much more than the name or design. It is the whole personality of the organization. That’s why it is important for the company to choose and promote a brand that represents their business methods and core values. Having a clear vision will ensure the success of the startup in the long run. By stating its goal right from the start, it is much easier to follow through on the plans.

What can branding do to motivate customers? Marketing is all about ultimately influencing the behaviour of customers. They will be far more inspired by a brand that offers relevant content with an emotional promise and has an appealing personality, effectively communicated in marketing and sales. To grab the attention of the average consumer, a new company has to challenge itself to devise a unique marketing campaign. The more so if you are targeting today’s millennials, who are not as responsive to normal advertising, but want to be engaged. Without customers, of course, the business cannot succeed, that is why it is important to have a brand which will inspire loyalty and promote engagement with the customer.

Startup marketing and branding also helps a startup set itself apart from the competition. A great brand name can be a solid competitive advantage for your company, especially when feature sets between two or more brands are roughly the same.

Formulating a brand identity requires that a new company conduct research into their customer base and the surrounding market. This in turn helps companies articulate what it is that makes them unique, and what particular gaps they are filling in their respective markets. The ability to then effectively sell their unique contribution can bring in a variety of new customers who are looking for the specific product or service offered by the startup.

Establishing a brand ensures your customers that you are here to stay. What do you think when you log in into your Facebook account or use Google? That they are companies that are shutting down tomorrow or next week? Of course not, that is because they have established a brand and clearly marketed an identity that serves as an assurance to customers that the companies will be in business for a long time. By developing a strong startup branding, the company demonstrates that it is ready for the long haul. It shows that the company intends to be one of the recognizable and reliable businesses in the industry.

Startup branding is the initial introduction of what your company can provide to investors and customers. A carefully crafted branding strategy can go a long way in etching a solid identity for a new venture and can define its success. When done right, the company will experience success.

Have I left something important out? What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment in the section below.

Raising start-up capital can be the most difficult part when you want to start a business. It is one of the reasons why small business fail. Here are some ways for you to raise capital.

1. Self-Funding
Tap into your own wallet or savings. Don’t expect others to invest in your startup if you haven’t put some of your own money in.

2. Small business loans
Approach companies that specialize in helping small businesses get quick and easy access to loans.

3. Banks
Banks are not always easy to crack when it comes to small business lending. It goes without saying that you’ll need a firm business plan and a squeaky-clean credit record to get approved.

4. Get Angel Investment in Your Startup
Angel investors are individuals with surplus cash and a keen interest to invest in upcoming startups. They also work in groups of networks to collectively screen the proposals before investing. They can also offer mentoring or advice alongside capital.

5. Raise Funds by Winning Contests
An increase in the number of contests has tremendously helped to maximize the opportunities for fund raising. It encourages entrepreneurs with business ideas to set up their own businesses. In such competitions, you either have to build a product or prepare a business plan.

6. Government Programs That Offer Startup Capital
Research for government programmes that give funding or loans to small business. They are usually countless just poorly advertised.

By Launch Magazine

It is crucial for a start-up to practice sound financial management. Most start-ups die within their first year because of poor financial decision.

1. KEEP EXPENSES LOW AT THE START
It is important to try keeping your start-up’s initial expenses low for longevity. Keeping expenses low allows you to funnel more capital into growth, which will eventually lead to a situation wherein those perks are financially possible. Your focus should be on generating and maintaining revenue streams.

2. REMEMBER THAT TIME IS MONEY
Time is money. Not literally, but the amount of time you spend on the start-up has value.

3. FOCUS ON GETTING CUSTOMERS
Failing to acquire customers is a common reason for startup’s shutting down. No small business, no matter how promising, can succeed if it can’t get customers. No customers, no revenue. The top of your to-do list should involve crafting a sound customer acquisition strategy and applying it. That includes identifying your target market, finding out where they are, and attracting them. Focus on the most promising opportunities. You can’t afford to go after every lead.

4. MONITOR SPENDING
Money can get away from you fast. Before you know, all those little coffee or chair purchases have transformed into a financial burden. Capital’s running thin, and the start-up’s in trouble. Don’t get caught in that trap. Keep an eye on your expenditures at all time. If you have an accountant, check-in with them regularly to make sure you’re not going over budget.

5. SET FINANCIAL GOALS
Saying that you want to be rich isn’t enough. While it doesn’t seem that way now, setting a specific goal matters. It’ll determine how much work you have ahead of you, as well as the things you’re willing to do. Setting exact goals will also let you stay on track.

There’s a lot of things to consider as an entrepreneur. If you don’t have specific goals and metrics for progress, you can easily get distracted and lose track of what you’ve accomplished.

By Accounteer

Do you enjoy vegan food? Launch Magazine caught up with team Earthly Pleasures as they share with us the reason why they decided to venture on their vegan journey.  
Tell us about you and what motivated you to start a business?
About 5-6 years ago we (co-founders Jolene and JP) decided to embark on our Vegan journey. One thing many people don’t realise is that we as vegans, well most of us, love the way meat and dairy tasted. We just don’t want any victims on our plate. The reason that motivated us to start a business was a pure passion for food and compassion for the animals we so easily classify as “food”. We thought to ourselves, “if not now, when? If not us, who?” After many frustrating failures and experiments, we finally felt confident enough to put a name to our face, we decided to take a leap of faith and Earthly Pleasures was born in 2015. Three years later, we are still going strong.
Why did you go into vegan products?
After switching to a vegan lifestyle, we quickly realised that Namibia did not really cater for Vegans or any person not following a standard Namibian meat-based diet. At first, we attempted a version of what some would call cheese, but it did not work out well for us. The texture was not right and the flavour was missing. We were just not ready to produce this product. Not giving up hope we attempted at making something different. With our love for sweet things we missed one of our favourites; ice cream. After working on various ideas and hundreds of batches and taste tests we perfected the vegan ice cream base. We wanted to create an ice cream that tasted just as good, if not better than the dairy alternative!  After successfully selling the ice cream at various local supermarkets, we decided to revisit the dairy-free cheese and take another look at what was available. The more we experimented with different products and ingredients, the more skillful we became with manipulating textures and flavours. Our first Dairy-free Vegan mozzarella was born. Not stopping there, we decided to expand to meat alternatives and we have added the meat-free salami to our product range.
How difficult was it at the start and what challenges do you continue to face?
Starting is difficult without proper funding. Earthly Pleasures is still run and kept running with personal funds from both co-founders. We both have day jobs and produce all of Earthly Pleasures’ products after hours or on weekends. Running a business while having another job does require a lot of dedication and sacrifice. Time is the biggest one here. Another difficult aspect of starting is that there is not a lot of information to go by when it comes to creating these products. A lot of trial and error is involved in perfecting something that to some extent mimics an existing product but contains none of those ingredients. One of the ingredients used in the cheesemaking process is also imported from the United Kingdom, as it is a specialty ingredient used in molecular gastronomy. The major ingredient used with meat-free salami is also imported from South Africa and purchased in bulk.
Another challenge we face as a business is to be ethical, not only regarding our ingredients but our packaging as well. Do we want to be part of the problem? At Earthly Pleasures we do not want to contribute to the already massive scale of pollution created by the food industry and one of the hurdles we faced, was a packaging solution that is better for the environment than what other Namibian products used. We opted to use a biodegradable/compostable ice cream container which has to be imported from South Africa, as there are none of these containers available in Namibia. Our cheeses and meat-free meats are wrapped in wax-paper and brown-paper only.
What is your best selling product?
Our best selling product by far is our cheese because it is much more cost effective to make and of course you can put cheese on anything. It melts lovely and will satisfy any cheese fan.  Our ice creams are creamy and dreamy, they also sell very well, even though they are a bit more expensive than dairy ice cream. Last but not least, our newest product is our meat-free salami, it is doing quite well, we have very high hopes for this product and we hope to launch even more meat-free alternatives in the future.
How can customers reach you?
Our customers can contact us on our Facebook Page -: Earthly Pleasures, we always try and be as responsive as possible. Alternatively, they can email us at namibia.ice.cream@gmail.com or contact us on 081 259 7117. We currently sell all the products mentioned above at Klara’s Market Place in independence Ave, as we don’t have facilities to sell directly to the public yet. You can also enjoy our Mozzarella cheese on your favourite Col’Cacchio Pizza, or at Bits n Pizza in Swakopmund.
Words of motivation for those willing to start a business.
If you have a passion for something never give up. Let your ethics and actions align, never be a sell-out to make a quick buck. You will get there, it may be the long-hard-way, but it is the right way.

Launch Magazine has teamed up with the Windhoek book Den. Launch has recognized the need for mentorship to entrepreneurs and has recognized books as a way to help provide this mentorship. 

For entrepreneurs, the start-up journey can be a very difficult one if you do not have a mentor to guide you into the right direction.  However not all entrepreneurs are privileged to have a mentor or to have the right mentor for the industry you wish to venture in. For entrepreneurs in Namibia especially, finding the right mentor is nearly an impossible journey. Also the whole spirit of entrepreneurship is only really starting to stick with some. So what would be the easiest of ways to gain the right advice to help push your business into the right direction? Books, Books and more books!

Mentorship books can definitely push you into the right direction. They are usually from successful entrepreneurs or leaders that have been in the position that you are in. The best part is that you can simply search a book by entrepreneurs that have been in the same industry that you are in. It is for this reason that Launch has teamed up with the Windhoek book Den in order to show or display the mentorship books that they have in stock. We therefore will be posting books, together with a book review, price of the book and contact details of the book den.

 

The Financial Literacy Initiative introduces its business info Hub.  The Info Hub is an online database comprising of all available financing instruments for enterprises in Namibia.

Numerous businesses in Namibia encounter a serious lack of information regarding access to finance. One of the main problems, among-st others that were identified, was the absence of a comprehensive and up­ to-date overview of all the funding opportunities available. Besides the traditional bank loan, there are many other opportunities available, be it from the public sector like the regional councils or private funding in the form of grants and equity.

The Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI), with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Government, developed the Information Hub (lnfo Hub). The Info Hub is an online database comprising of all available financing instruments for enterprises in Namibia. It is a comprehensive, user-friendly tool with individualized search criteria. In order to also serve businesses without internet access, an offline booklet version has been developed. To ensure it’s always up-to-date the FLI is continuously communicating with all financial service providers in the county.

The Info Hub serves as a “one-stop-shop” to help enterprises identify appropriate financial support. It therefore is a key milestone on Namibia’s way to increase access to finance.

Visit the FLI’s website www.fli-namibia.org or follow FLI’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/finlitnam for details on the Info hub and other projects FLI is undertaking in order to increase financial literacy in Namibia.

The Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI) is a national platform aimed at enhancing the financial capability of individuals and SMEs with regard to personal and business finance. Its main objective is to improve financial literacy, including an increased knowledge of financial products, services and institutions. The initiative currently consists of more than 30 official platform supporters from the private, public and civil sectors in Namibia who jointly strive to address the target groups’ needs with regard to financial competence and consumer protection.

The FLI was founded 6 years ago by the Ministry of Finance together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Government.