“Innovators” receive sponsorship
As part of the sponsorship, FNB will support seven runners up with an amount of N$1000.00 each. The bank will also open business accounts for them.
Robert Eiman, Head: Small and Medium Size Enterprises at FNB Namibia said that such initiatives are important as the bank believes in the SME sector as a catalyst for future growth. He encouraged participants to formalise their business ideas into fully fledged businesses. “The business plan is an integral part of the process of establishing a business and by encouraging this process you actually plant the seeds in the minds of future entrepreneurs,” he said.
FNB Namibia will look at the business plans presented and approach successful candidates whom they believe have viable business concepts. “We will use our product offerings as well as guarantee schemes to look at the financing of the ventures to assist the participants in not only dreaming about their business, but actually fulfilling it,” Eiman said.
Bernice Karuhumba, the Assistant Manager, Entrepreneurship & Incubation at the Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC), thanked the bank for lending its support to the initiative. “This cooperation provides a platform where the bank can give back to the community while promoting SME development while the NBIC provides the opportunity for the would-be recipients to be able to use the funds wisely,” she said.
Karuhumba said the main aim of the initiative is to get participants to think out loud about their business ideas and add more “flesh” to the ideas. “Before one writes a business plan, you need to do market research and by so doing, you will look more closely at the idea. Secondly we aim to motivate people to actually want to take their business plans to the next step,” she said.
This is the third year that the initiative has been running and to date more than 33 participants have taken part. The 2011 first prize winner, Rogilio Soabeb of NamSim (formerly known as Nellio Simulated Technologies) has started his business and is expanding.