Upcoming entrepreneurs, Fimanekani Mdodo and Asser Henock, emerged as the winners for their plan which aims to improve the performance of Grades 10 and 12 learners in national examinations. The pair introduced an online educational plan known as the “Foster Digital Education Platform,” to complement Namibia’s traditional education system. The plan focuses on facilitating online learning through video lectures, tutoring, mock testing and examinations which would fill the skills gap in the sector. The pair won a cash prize of N$20 000 as well as free mentoring and coaching services from NBII.Mdodo said he was humbled by the recognition. “It is really challenging to be an entrepreneur, especially because of financial constraints, but with competitions such as this one, our goals can be achieved. Thank you for believing in us and for the cash injection,” he said.The NBII Business Plan Competition was initiated to foster a culture of open innovation, business and socio-economic growth in Namibia, and to inspire and stimulate aspiring entrepreneurs into creative thinking and thus enabling contestants to establish viable and sustainable businesses.Dorothea Mischo, the Director of NBII, advised the young participants to keep their eyes on the prize. “I would like to tell all aspiring entrepreneurs that it is my hope that this day marks the beginning of a successful journey and new opportunities. Allow yourself to fail often so that you can succeed sooner. Do not let fear keep you from becoming all that you are meant to be,” Mischo said.All the business plans submitted were subjected to an intensive judging process by NBII before the top five were judged externally by representatives from the Development Bank of Namibia, Namib Mills and FNB Namibia which all sponsored the competition.
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.
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.