Introducing the Sanlam Innovation Works winners

The fifth Sanlam Innovation works initiative, undertaken in conjunction with the Namibia Business Innovation institute (NBII), has awarded five winners this year for their innovations, with the aim to inspire and unlock passion in young Namibians and aspiring entrepreneurs. They each received start-up capital of N$50 000 from Sanlam and...

28 May 2019 | People

Motlee HR Systems Namibia

Q: Tell The Zone about your innovation.

A: One of our innovations is the Motlee Central Recruitment Platform - online recruitment software that helps companies to recruit candidates by providing a fully, semi-automated integrated online recruitment platform that links them to potential candidates. One of the foremost advantages of our software is that all candidate information is stored and shared securely online, forming a centralised hub of recruitment activity for both recruiters and candidates that can be accessed both on our active web platform and mobile application, which we will be launching in July 2019.

Q: What inspired you to come up with such an innovation?

A: What inspired us to create this software is the increasing high employment rate amongst the youth and the struggle they go through to find employment, which at times can be time-consuming and costly.

Q: What societal need are you fulfilling with this?

A: The social need we are fulfilling is access to information, especially information regarding employment opportunities, both locally and internationally.

Q: How would you describe the mentorship programme with the NBII?

A: The mentorship programme at NBII is has been very helpful to us as entrepreneurs and our business, in setting our objectives and business mode on how we can best implement and scale our business as we grow.

Q: What shortcomings has Sanlam curbed by starting this initiative?

A: One of the shortcomings for most start-ups like ours is finance and the right skills to turn an idea into an actual business. We were fortunate to get assistance from Sanlam through this initiative, which has helped us overcome most of these shortcomings.

Q: How has the process of developing your business been since the announcement of the winners?

A: Since the announcement our progress has been very good and productive. We have been able to fast-track the development of our software by five months, as financing the project was one of our major setbacks when we first started.



Linda Creations

Q: Tell The Zone about your innovation.

A: We manufacture and supply cleaning materials, more specifically dishwashing liquid under our brand name Kitchen Captain Made in Namibia for Namibians.

Q: What inspired you to come up with such an innovation?

A: From my experience I have seen that it is passion that makes a business and not money. Many people consider the government as a main source of employment. This has led to a large number of graduates being unemployed. There are many graduates out there who are meant to be employers, but they have not seen the fact that maybe the reason they can’t find a job is because they were not meant to find a job but to create employment.

Q: What societal need are you fulfilling with this?

A: I am creating employment



Q: How would you describe the mentorship programme with the NBII?

A: Even though these are still early times, the NBII mentorship programme has provided the basics for the sound business foundation. They have opened their doors and offered guidance on growing and monitoring progress in the business.



Q: What shortcomings has Sanlam curbed by starting this initiative?

A: Capital is a major problem for all emerging businesses. This initiative by Sanlam Namibia has given a vital injection of funds to our businesses.



Q: How has the process of developing your business been since the announcement of the winners?

A: With some capital available we looked at broadening our product range and targeting corporate clients, as well as the market at large.



MISTAL

Q: Tell The Zone about your innovation.

A: The MIST Agricultural Laboratory (MISTAL) food department analyses the nutritional information of agricultural products and other ready-prepared food like home-made mahangu biscuits and guava jam to provide our clients with certificates and labels of these nutritional analyses, so they can sell their food in retail shops and other commercial places.

Q: What inspired you to come up with such an innovation?

A: We identified gaps in the food quality assurance and nutritional information labelling industry - a major contributing factor towards the shortage of Namibian food products being sold commercially.

Q: What societal need are you fulfilling with this?

A: Our aim is to assist more Namibian food producers in selling their food and value-added food products in commercial retail places, so that they can generate more revenue. We also aim to create more awareness about the importance of food nutrition and quality assurance.

Q: How would you describe the mentorship programme with the NBII?

A: The programme is a great initiative. The training has so far brought so many aspects of the business and entrepreneurship industry that we were initially not aware of and it is helping us improve in managing our innovations and business.



Q: What shortcomings has Sanlam curbed by starting this initiative?

A: Sanlam has allowed for us to receive appropriate training as we launch our innovations. Our lab is now transitioning from the research phase to the trial-run phase where we are confirming our analytical methodologies with a liaison laboratory. Sanlam is owed a deep gratitude for allowing us to commence this transition.

Q: How has the process of developing your business been since the announcement of the winners?

A: There is an escalation in some activities and milestones, and others have stagnated. Overall however, the announcement has given us more confidence and we are positive that we are moving in the right direction.



Nambush Feeds

Q: Tell The Zone about your innovation.

A: I, Rejinio Albert Camm, is the proud founder of Nambush Feeds. This business strives to produce animal feed of the highest quality. What is innovative about this is that we are using encroach bushes like the swarthak and the three thorn bush, where we will be mixing them with other supplements thereby making 12 variations of the product. Nambush Feeds aim to solve or help curb two problems with this project, namely bush encroachment and the loss of livestock due to drought.

Q: What inspired you to come up with such an innovation?

A: The love for animals and my love for business is the true inspiration behind this initiative. Following my passion for these two elements, gave birth to this project in the agricultural sector. Another contributing factor was that the drought that hit Namibia over the past years, which costs massive loss of livestock, as the veld does not have enough nutrients to sustain the livestock.

Q: What societal need are you fulfilling with this?

As mentioned before, this product will help farmers to sustain their animals. This product will cater to commercial farmers, especially to resettlement farmers, as they do not have enough capital to purchase supplements to sustain livestock throughout the drought. This business will create employment for the local community of Aroab and other small towns like Bethanie and Berseba, etc. The business will help improve the rangeland, as invader bushes will be de-bushed, creating new space for grass to grow.

Q: How would you describe the mentorship programme with the NBII?

The mentorship programme from NBII is very productive. The eight-month programme will further assist me to better operate this initiate. Several workshops will form part of this programme and I believe that the knowledge I will gain during this mentorship will be vital throughout my entrepreneurship journey.

Q: What shortcomings has Sanlam curbed by starting this initiative?

A: One of the greatest challenges that an entrepreneur faces is the availability of capital. There are a countless number of people with amazing business ideas, but there is a lack of the necessary capital to make these dreams a reality. Sanlam noticed this challenge and crated the opportunity for entrepreneurs to come forth with their initiatives. I trust and believe other great companies shall follow the example set by Sanlam.

Q: How has the process of developing your business been since the announcement of the winners?

Nambush Feeds set out several milestones since the announcement of the winners. Extensive research has been done on the types of bush feeds. We are currently busy with our pilot project. We are busy testing our feeds on samples of livestock. We held talks with local farmers from the south. At a recent meeting in Aroab, farmers showed interest in what Nambush Feeds offers. They are waiting in anticipation for this product to hit the market.

I would further encourage the youth to read and come up with great ideas, which can help boost our economy and create employment, thus increasing our GDP.

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