WINDHOEK: Telecom Namibia on Thursday handed over a laptop computer valued at N.dollars 10 300 to Hilja Nailoke Niingungo from Tsumeb for her winning business idea of crushing natural stones to construct houses with.
Niingungo was the overall winner of the Namibia Economist Businesswomen Projects’ Business Idea Competition conducted during the annual Namibian Businesswomen Conference that took place on 09 August 2012 in Ondangwa for women in the north.
Telecom Namibia has been a long-time partner and supporter of the Namibia Businesswomen Projects which organises the annual Businesswomen’s Conference, the Katuka Mentorship Programme, the Namibian Businesswomen of the Year Award and the Businesswomen Bursary Fund.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony here, Desere Lundon-Muller, the marketing manager for the Namibia Economist newspaper and organiser of the Namibia Businesswomen Projects, said the aim of the conference was to create an opportunity for women to share their expertise and skills, make new contacts, support one another, and create worthwhile business relationships.
Over 130 women attended the conference, during which representatives from the Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC) made presentations on innovation and new business idea generation.
Niingungo applauded Telecom Namibia for the laptop, as well as Namibia Businesswomen Projects and NBIC for assisting women to understand the creation of innovative business ideas.
She said the concept will benefit low-income earners, especially Shack Dwellers’ Federation members in building houses.
Niingungo explained that the business will make use of small jackhammers operating on gas or generators in the crushing of stones, and is expected to employ three people on a full-time basis and one part-time.
Speaking at the same occasion, NBIC Innovation Marketplace Officer, Silas Newaka said the judges, comprising five NBIC representatives, were involved in evaluating and determining the best innovative business idea based on the set criteria.
The criteria include description of the business, motivation behind the idea, innovativeness and viability of the idea, while judges also looked at the quality and sustainability of the idea.
Newaka said NBIC will assist Niingungo in drawing up a business plan that can be presented to a financial institution for funding.
“We normally encourage entrepreneurs to make their own business plans in order to learn and understand the whole process involved in business planning,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Telecom Namibia’s Senior Manager of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Oiva Angula congratulated Niingungo, and encouraged her to continue hard in the implementation of the idea.
Angula said the objective of the sponsorship towards the Namibia Businesswomen Projects is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and to boost self-employment opportunities and wealth creation at community level.
He said Telecom Namibia believes in the potential of Namibian women and girls, and that with the right networking, exposure, mentorship and guidance they can develop their ideas and create a great, long-lasting contribution to the society.
“We have seen time and again how a good idea with the right support can change lives, not just of those that initially developed it, but the people involved in its continued growth and success,” Angula said.
Telecom Namibia has been the main sponsor of the Namibia Businesswomen Projects for more than 10 years now.