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B2Gold’s Jumpstart fosters innovation and entrepreneurship

2022-02-25  Staff Reporter

B2Gold’s Jumpstart fosters innovation and entrepreneurship
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Last week, a unique blend of young entrepreneurs, seasoned senior executives and finance experts gathered for the B2Gold Jumpstart Pitch Event. Invited guests witnessed six startup talents participating in the Jumpstart incubation programme funded by B2Gold Namibia. The event marked the first of three such pitch events.  

In June of 2021, Dololo DoBox was appointed to design and implement B2Gold’s Startup initiative, the company’s first incubation programme aimed at training, mentoring and supporting young businesses to become financially independent and/or ready to receive investments. 

With this corporate social responsibility initiative, B2Gold acknowledges the importance of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Namibia and seeks to support young entrepreneurs active in different economic sectors. 

The six startups at the pitch event were: Yannis Beukes of Elyzian Fitness, an apparel brand and gym which offers personal training; Alek Pieters, founder of Surge Sustainability that develops and builds biogas plants; Rebecca Marais from Busy Beez educational materials, a start-up that provides educational materials for kids; Björn Roxin of Termite Software, the developers of the Etosha app, Ndaudika Mulundileni of tech educator Minds in Action, a youth educator focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM); and Hubert Nashenda of U.B. Innovations who has developed various fitness apps currently available on Google Play.

Each participant only had three minutes each to convince the judges to invest up to N$10 000 in their businesses. The judging panel included Sem Mandela Uutoni, Founder of African Pathfinder Leaders Initiative (APLI), Dantagos Jimmy-Melani of Ndapunikwa Investments, and Natalia Haulofu of B2Gold Namibia.

The “Jumpstarter” for the night was Ndaudika Mulundileni, founder of Minds in Action, who received the highest scores from the judges.  

“We are excited about the outcome of the pitch event! It was an opportunity for us to showcase our business models, to demonstrate to the judges that we are committed to growth, and able to make a profit while making an impact in society. Funds will enable us to improve our STEAM Centre, to make it more conducive for learning,” said Mulundileni.

Haulofu described the event as a success. She applauded the participants for their efforts. “The new ideas presented tonight prove that Namibian needs can be addressed by Namibians. I am confident that these businesses will flourish as they have already taken the first steps. Well done to all of you.”

B2Gold Namibia is a 90% owned subsidiary of B2Gold Corporation. The remaining 10% is owned by EVI Mining Company Limited: a Namibian, broad-based economic empowerment group. B2Gold Namibia’s portfolio includes the Otjikoto Mine in north central Namibia, as well as extensive base metal concessions in northern Namibia.

2022-02-25  Staff Reporter

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