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Women entrepreneurs dominate developmental programme

New Cycle entrepreneurs who took part of the first cycle of FABlab’s Intensive Product development (IPD) programme.

Earlier last month, FABlab in collaboration with Team Namibia debuted Namibia’s first business matchmaking event, ADDventure solely tailored at providing local entrepreneurs with an opportunity to pitch their innovative and locally developed products or services to potential investors and business support organisations.

Eight of the twelve contestants present at this event were the first graduates of the first cycle of FABlab’s Intensive Product development (IPD) programme who, after graduating the programme, had the opportunity to pitch at the Addventure platform where over N$6 million in funding, mentorship, and technical support was awarded to event participants.
The second cycle of the IPD programme is underway and the current intake sees the majority share being that of women entrepreneurs. Of the seven current businesses entered into the programme, four are owned and operated by women. FABlab Namibia is assisting these seven determined entrepreneurs in developing and successfully creating their own product prototypes alongside business, financial and marketing plans, for presentation and possible funding at the ADDventure platform.
“We are excited to see so many aspiring entrepreneurs entering into the programme. In the first cycle we had seven female entrepreneurs and two men and again in this intake of IPD clients we have a majority of female owned and managed businesses applying for the programmes support. We
are supporting seven original ideas, to shape and mould them to the Namibian business landscape, in order to produce innovative and unique products,” said Kirstin Wiedow, Director and co-founder of FABlab Namibia.
FABlab Namibia is a Centre of Excellence of the Polytechnic of Namibia, supported by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME development, places national innovative business development at the core of its actions.
“We believe that by aiding people to help themselves, gaining new skills and knowledge in technologies and innovation, we are in effect enabling them to aid others and support economic growth,” added Wiedow.
According to Chongo Kasanda, Team Manager and Legal coordinator at FABlab, the first IPD cycle was a success and they cannot wait to see what this second cycle brings to local Namibian SME’s and the country. The next ADDventure platform is scheduled to take place in August.

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