Our fifth stop on our national MatchME2Funding journey was Rundu, situated 720km north-east of Windhoek in the Kavango-East region. MatchME2Funding is an Impact Tank initiative in partnership with Start Up Namibia, GIZ and Nedbank Namibia.
The project aspires to address the problem of limited access to entrepreneurship training and financial services for start-ups by facilitating a nationwide matching-making event. The program will engage and prepare a total of 200 start-ups in 10 selected towns from the 5 geographical areas for a matchmaking with potential funders. Rundu was matched to funding on 25 - 27 October 2021 where 26 applicants were successfully shortlisted from over 70 applicants. The shortlisted participants attended a 2-day micro-entrepreneurial training course, followed by a pitch day event that saw 3 of the participants walk away with prizes in the form of seed money for their businesses.
Our esteemed judges for the event included Leevy Hakusembe (Local Serial Entrepreneur), Elise Uusiku (Senior Economist at the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade) and Shoki Kandjimi (Information Officer at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology). Mr. Kandjimi emphasized that the participants should take advantage of digital marketing as we are currently in a digital era. He further asked the participants to create a digital presence and use it to gain more customers and create brand loyalty and awareness.
The 26 eager participants all presented confident and diverse pitches which captivated the judging panel. Ultimately, the judges’ votes were tallied, and we had our three winners! In 3rd place, winning N$3250.00, was Ms. Elise Haihambo with her business Pakuzura Mini Market. Elise’s main aim is to cut transport costs for her fellow villagers by providing a local mini market selling basic necessities such as bread and maize. In 2nd place, winning N$4250.00, was Ms. Salome Lucas with her kindergarten Blessed. Her idea was sparked by the fact that children from her community must travel far and cross busy roads to attend kindergarten in the next village. Salome does not simply offer a kindergarten service but also offers extra classes in Mathematics and English to teenagers and mature adults. And finally, in 1st place, winning N$5000.00, was Mr. Frans Koita with his business eCom Africa which provides solar-powered cellular phones. The cell phones are able to charge the traditional way through electricity, with solar charging being an additional feature to reduce electricity costs and offer convenience. Frans aims to offer his customers flexible packages and features made to tailor their specific needs.
As Impact Tank, in partnership with Startup Namibia and Nedbank Namibia, matches further regions with business funding, we plant and spread the seed of entrepreneurial culture and initiate growth for Namibia through a grass roots approach.
Stay tuned for updates from Eenhana MatcME2Funding!