The winner of the Launch Namibia’s Best Start-up of the Year Award, Llewelyn Adams, told Youth Corner the best thing he would advise fellow young Namibians who aspire to be entrepreneurs is to start and keep going – even if they fail.
Adams added that it is easier to approach corporates for assistance when one has already started with some business venture as opposed to wanting assistance when there is nothing to show for it. “If you get rejected, go back to the drawing board again. Most importantly, do research and ask why you got rejected,” he opined.
He encountered a lot of obstacles along the way before setting up his business, DonluAfrica, a local online music platform that lacked funds. “The lack of funds was one of the biggest challenges for me, as well having to work on a broken laptop and with no internet connection at the time was rather difficult,” he recalled.
Adams has been in the music business for a little over 10 years now, managing artists like Mr Diamonds and NamBantwan – to name a few, as well as offering consulting services to a few others. “What irked me the most was the fact that at the time, it was rather difficult for Namibian artists to get their music onto international platforms, so I saw a need for a proudly Namibian platform – one that we can all be proud of,” stated Adams.
DonLuAfrica has also expanded to other countries such as Zambia and Angola to help other artists stream their music online with a wider reach.
“Of course, we have done a lot of research before this move. Thus, with the research complete and it showing there is an opportunity for us to help, we took it. There are plans to further expand into other countries soon,” envisioned Adams on prospects of the site going international and for continental artists to use it to promote their songs.
Launch Namibia’s Events and Marketing Coordinator Niita Shikongo said the awards aim to highlight start-ups, meaning businesses that are between three to five years old, but not older.
“Furthermore, the businesses that are selected align with the Launch Namibia ethos of innovation, ambition, creativity and community impact. Start-ups that tick these boxes and further operate outside of the box in comparison to fellow industry players, usually stand out,” detailed Shikongo.
She encouraged entrepreneurs to be more intentional about their business concepts and models.
“Our country has several problems that need solving; identify one and try to find a solution that makes business sense. The start-ups that stand out usually do just that – they are pioneers, inventing and re-inventing ideas, daring to be different and bettering the world for themselves and those around them,” shared Shikongo.
She added: “Many people do not know that Launch Namibia itself is a start-up; we are celebrating three years in 2020. We are familiar with the struggles and difficulties of entrepreneurship, of establishing one’s self with little to no help, and we recognise the need for support of these businesses. What we want for the Start-up Awards to become the largest awards ceremony in the country, in the SADC region and perhaps even competitively on the continent. More importantly, we would want to expand into more award categories to make sure we can reward as many deserving start-ups annually as possible. Positively impacting one person’s life can lead to a change in another’s; it’s clear that the Awards have the potential to be that catalyst”.
Shikongo said there is no registration process: “We allow the public to nominate a start-up of their choice – and in so doing, allowing the community to be a part of the selection process because they interact with, purchase from and support these businesses daily,” she concluded.