Four female entrepreneurs have won the Namibian round of the FemBioBiz Phase 2 competition, and will go on to compete at the South African Innovation Summit from 12-14 September in Cape Town. FemBioBiz is an acceleration programme and competition run by NEPAD SANBio through the Finnish-Southern African Partnership Programme BioFISA II, in partnership with regional partner organisations.
The four local winners are Renthia Kaimbi of AquaGreens Namibia, Mary Shikutu of NT Okawa Trading, Mpingana Dax of Kuti Oil and Ndahekelekwa Paulus of Fluffy Mallows. Each of the four won cash prizes between N$20,000 to N$80,000.
In Namibia, the FemBioBiz competition, run in 8 SADC countries, was coordinated by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, the local partner for the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences, NEPAD SANBio. The programme started in March this year with Phase 1, and concludes in the Phase 3 Grand Finale at the SA Innovation Summit. Of the 44 Namibian applications to enter the programme, 22 participants were selected for Phase 1, of which 15 then proceeded to Phase 2.
The Phase 2 workshop was divided into two bootcamp trainings sessions, the first of which was held from 18 to 20 June with a focus on business strategy, marketing and financial management. The second bootcamp, culminating in the competition to select the Namibian finalists, was held 17-19 July with a respective focus on intellectual property, legal aspects and human resources.
The four country-level prizes were sponsored by the NCRST, the FNB Namibia Foundation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).