The Sanlam Innovation Works Competition is public platform that offer start-up funding for projects at early-stage development that address key issues in innovation. The competition which is currently in its fourth cycle is a joint project between Sanlam Namibia and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute.
“This particular relationship between academia and the private sector is what has made today’s event possible, where the NBII provides mentorship, coaching and training whilst Sanlam Namibia provides funding in the form of seed capital.” noted Ms. Bernice Ndungaua, Entrepreneuship and Incubation Manager at NBII.
Ms. Mareka Masule of Ilotu Cosmetics emerged as the overall winner out of five finalists and was awarded an additional N$ 25 000 at an awards ceremony that took place on Wednesday, the 21st November at the Innovation Village.
Ilotu Investments cc is a Namibian cosmetics manufacturer. It specialises in the production of organic, essential oil based, nutrient-filled wide range for body health products, including full body detox clays, lotions, shampoos, hair food, body washes, and more. The products are distributed to our end users through various channels, including, retailers, sales agents and other businesses like hotels, spas, guesthouses, health facilities and more.
“Considering the economic state that we find ourselves in as a country, these kind of initiatives become even more vital, and as Sanlam when others are shying away from supporting start-ups and small businesses because of the trying times, we want to do our best to encourage innovation and business development in hope of creating a sustainable future for generations to inherit” said Ms. Elizabeth Nailenge, Marketing and Communication Consultant at Sanlam Namibia.
The other finalists were Agro Business and Investment, Nam-Oceanic Kelp Production Enterprise and Kandele Investment.
570 unemployed youths graduated from the Reconstruction Living Labs Namibia (RLabs), which is a social innovation programme under the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII), at NUST.