The awards have become an integral part of the Namibian business calendar, celebrating the achievements of some truly remarkable women.
Desere Lundon-Muller, Chairperson, Economist Businesswoman Club said at the launch that with the Awards they aim to raise awareness for equal opportunity, to provide a platform for decision-makers to recognize and promote the status of women and to promote the creation of small and medium businesses in Namibia. “Its aim is to reward and encourage high quality businesswomen and entrepreneurs for their excellence so as to showcase role models and honour those who form the core of economic growth and contribute to the well being of our society,” she added.
Johanna Shiweda-Indongo, Windhoek Branch Manager, Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) said on behalf of Tarah Shaanika, Chief Executive Officer, NCCI, the businesswoman awards are a platform that they are happy to be associated with as they continue the fight of economic emancipation. She added that it is important to make concrete efforts to provide more opportunities for women to become entrepreneurs and move into leadership positions in business and the corporate world. “We will use our wide network of branches to encourage women leaders to take part in the economic activities of the country and to take part in the businesswoman award,” she said.
Representing one of the sponsors, Lemmy Shapopi, Human Resources Manager at SABMiller Namibia stated that through their appreciation and support of the awards, they celebrate the success of women in business in both the private and public sector. “May initiatives such as the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year Awards continue to show women the importance of empowerment and may this hold them steadfast in their journey of growing themselves and their communities,” he commented.
Oiva Angula, Senior Manager: Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Telecom Namibia, who sponsored N$79,000 for the Awards said this should encourage entries by women from various age groups and at different career stages.
“There are so many fantastic women out there who are not coming forward to be acknowledged for their contribution to the business world and our society, and I would like to encourage them to enter the competition or nominate a friend or business owner who they would like to be recognised for this award,” he emphasised. Ericah Shafudah, Businesswoman of the Year 2013 concluded by encouraging people to nominate a women they think deserves this award and for the nominees to accept and participate in this. Nomination forms can be obtained from the Namibia Economist offices, the forms will also be printed in the newspaper or can be collected from the regional offices of the NCCI. Anyone associated with or who knows an individual who meets the criteria can nominate that person as a candidate. This includes spouses, employees, bankers, small business agencies, attorneys, accountants and business consultants.
The main sponsors of the Awards are Telecom Namibia and SABMiller. Other sponsors include Roots Importers, Four Season Signs and Game Namibia.
NCCI and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare are endorsing the Awards for recognising women’s vital role in the economy.