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.
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.