While most people in the world recognize international sports teams like Manchester United, worth US$ 1 billion dollars, global sportwear businesses like Nike or media powerhouses like ESPN, the business of sport in Namibia is often not taken seriously.
Enterpreneurs working to build sports businesses face even greater challenges from facing sceptical audiences to finding mentors or case studies of excellence in their chosen vertical in Namibia or farther beyond in Africa. There are some notable exceptions in Africa. For example, the new Kenya running shoe manufacturer, Enda, shines a spotlight of what is possible in the nascent sports business industry. Unfortunately, such examples are far too rare for budding Namibian sports entrepreneurs.
It is here where Impact Tank, in partnership with the Namibian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and GIZ decided to intervene and design an incubation to provide Namibian sports entrepreneurs a platform for much needed visibility and employment in the industry.
This particular program is 8-week incubation programme for startups in the sports and fitness sector. The incubator aims to provide the Namibian sports sector a platform for much needed visibility and employment in the industry. Incredible support was shown to the sports entrepreneurs by Namibian sports professionals and personalities. The likes of Henk Botha – Coach of the Year, and Dickson Vambe – Founder & Managing Director at Namspire Sports signed up to mentor the first cohort of 17 sports entrepreneurs, showing the enthusiasm that is possible.
However, one programme is not enough. A continued and sustainable support network is needed to ensure that these and other sports entrepreneurs succeed in their quest to create the next national, regional or global sports venture. Other countries have deep networks of entrepreneurial development at all levels, and it is this that the industry must aspire to.