Three entrepreneurs from Keetmanshoop last week won their share of N$85 000 through the Old Mutual Sustainable, Economic & Empowerment Drive (OM SEED) initiative.
Old Mutual Namibia, along with Launch Namibia, the Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab completed the second edition of the OM SEED initiative on 11 August 2022, with the top 20 Keetmanshoop entrepreneurs taking the stage to pitch their ideas to a panel of three judges.
During the award ceremony, Unomasa Kavita of Kavita Sports Performance walked away with the first prize of N$50 000. “I feel truly humbled by the whole experience. I am so grateful to Old Mutual that provided us with this opportunity to learn and grow”, said Kavita.
“I saw a gap in the market in the south, where our athletes have no facility or coach to help them elevate their performance. Through Kavita Sports Performance, we create a conducive and safe space for athletes to train and practice. We also help train our athletes from a young age to one day represent Namibia internationally. This money will, therefore, make an incredible impact in our business”, Kavita added.
Jonathan Freyer of Porklands Keetmanshoop came in second place, and won N$25 000. “Winning the money was amazing, but the skills and the training we received through OM SEED was life-changing. Our entrepreneurs need funding, but equally as important is access to information and training to help you build and grow your business. We are so grateful towards Old Mutual”, Freyer testified.
Berta Boois of Caring Hearts Brickmaking Project came in third place, and walked away with N$10 000. Boois said “one choice can change your future, and making the choice to apply for OM SEED has in fact changed my future for the better. This has been an incredible journey”.
Mufaro Nesongano, Manager: Communications and Old Mutual Foundation stated here that “the team travelled to various communities in Windhoek, Keetmanshoop and Oshakati to sensitise them about OM SEED. This resulted in more than 800 applications being received from all three towns”.
“After the successful completion of the Windhoek edition of OM SEED, we travelled to Keetmanshoop, where we had the opportunity to engage with 60 excited and determined entrepreneurs, each fighting for their opportunity to grow their business”, Nesongano noted.
“The various ideas which were pitched from our entrepreneurs in their diverse fields of business sectors made us realise the need for more initiatives that are aimed at our grassroots businesses”, he added.
During the Keetmanshoop edition, entrepreneurs underwent business, financial, entrepreneurship and leadership training. The importance of such training came out very visibly, and showed how critical it is in enabling entrepreneurs in upscaling their businesses.
The Keetmanshoop winners get the opportunity to grow their businesses, and will also be incubated for a three-month period to assist them in utilising their training and capital in the most effective way to better position their businesses in the market.
Chuma Siboleka, Financial Literacy Initiative Senior Economist: Trainings and Coordination, congratulated the vigour and determination of the entrepreneurs who took to the stage in Keetmanshoop. “I want to applaud you and congratulate our winners. You have shown hard work, enthusiasm and commitment to realise your dreams through your pitches, and we are excited to see how your business will grow”. The next town’s shortlisted candidates scheduled to receive training will be Oshakati on 17 and 18 August 2022.