Northern entrepreneurs get N$800 000 boost

ENTREPRENEUR BOOST … The Old Mutual Foundation has made available N$800 000 in support of grassroots entrepreneurs in the Ohangwena, Zambezi, Oshikoto and Kavango West regions last Thursday. This is the third edition of the Old Mutual Sustainable, Economic and Empowerment Drive. From left: Old Mutual marketing manager Mauriza Fredericks, Financial Literacy Initia- tive (FLI) senior media officer Antonia Smith, FLI deputy director Joseph Ihemba, Old Mutual group marketing manager Mignon du Preez, Basecamp director Jesaya Hano-Oshike, and Old Mutual Foundation chairperson Patricia Olivier.

The Old Mutual Foundation has invested N$800 000 in supporting grassroots entrepreneurs in the Ohangwena, Zambezi, Oshikoto and Kavango West regions.

This comes after the launch of its third edition of the Old Mutual Sustainable, Economic and Empowerment Drive (Omseed) last week.

The first beneficiaries were from Erongo, Kavango East and Hardap in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

The four northern regions have been chosen as Omseed focus areas for 2024 to foster entrepreneurship, create value within local communities, and help address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year, Old Mutual partnered with the Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Basecamp.

Omseed aims to bolster grassroots entrepreneurship by equipping individuals with the necessary resources to establish inclusive and sustainable businesses, thereby contributing to job creation and skills development nationwide.

The objective of the initiative is to extend this entrepreneurship support to 14 regions by 2025.

Old Mutual Namibia group marketing executive Mignon du Preez said applications will be open from 23 May to 3 June.

“Application forms will be available at Old Mutual branches in the participating towns, as well as on the Old Mutual Namibia website
“We eagerly anticipate witnessing how our grassroots entrepreneurs contribute to addressing the SDGs, particularly with fewer than seven years remaining until our expected achievement of these goals,” she said.

The foundation’s chairperson, Patricia Olivier, highlighted the importance of fostering entrepreneurship in shaping Namibia’s future.
“Together, we cultivate an entrepreneurial ecosystem aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, paving the way for a prosperous Namibia,” she said.

In the previous Omseed edition, Ladislaus Shikerete of Wapa-Nawa Recycling Centre emerged as the champion entrepreneur, securing the Omseed 2023 Kavango East title.

Shikerete, who transforms plastic waste into environmentally friendly bricks without water, was awarded N$50 000 to expand his business.

Founder of TJF Investments CC Taljaard Uaputuaka secured the first-place position in the Hardap region last year, expressing gratitude to the Old Mutual Foundation for investing in his business and dream to create reusable sanitary pads.

“At TJF Investments CC our commitment lies in merging environmental awareness with economic advancement. Omseed propelled our goal of creating reusable sanitary pads, further empowering our efforts.

“The awarded funds have played a crucial role in extending our impact and optimising our resources,” he said.

At each of the four towns for 2024, three winners will be selected, with the first prize being N$50 000, the second prize N$30 000, and the third prize N$20 000.

The awards are promoted as stepping stones, giving winners the ability to grow their businesses significantly. This would create more jobs and play a major role in improving Namibia’s economy.

The Old Mutual Foundation encourages all upcoming business owners at Tsumeb, Nkurenkuru, Eenhana, Katima Mulilo, and nearby areas to take advantage of the opportunity and to apply.

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