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Young entrepreneurs invited to join eco-entrepreneurship training

Young entrepreneurs invited to join eco-entrepreneurship training

The Eco-Entrepreneurship Training and Mentorship programme offered by the Namibia Business Innovation Institute have so far trained more than 60 young aspiring entrepreneurs. For the remainder of this year, the institute hopes to train more than 100 individuals.

The workshops are carried out over a course of three days followed by mentorship sessions geared to help the participants to define and expound their ideas so that these can be developed into viable eco-businesses. All participants can enter their business ideas in an eco-business competition where the winner will win a cash prize for investment into further developing the business idea.

The previous workshop was conducted from 10 to 12 April with the next one scheduled for 30 May and 01 June in Windhoek. A workshop will also be conducted from 20 to 22 June in the North.

The training programme is sponsored by the Hanns Seidel Foundation under its Environmental Awareness and Climate Change project.

Lesley-Anne van Wyk, Project Coordinator of the HSF Environmental Awareness and Climate Change Project, said that the Eco-Entrepreneurship Training and Mentorship programme helps upcoming entrepreneurs to venture into innovative eco-businesses that can address social, economic and environmental challenges and contribute to the realisation of a Green Economy in Namibia.

Participants are encouraged to develop their business ideas through the identification of markets, potential customers, various marketing opportunities, quality assurance and environmental impact.

Van Wyk added that the eco-entrepreneurs are a part of a broader programme which offers training, mentorship, networking, cross-learning through exchange visits and a competition for the best business plan.

Bernice Karuhumba, one of the facilitators of the workshops and Manager for the Entrepreneurship and Incubation Department at the NBII, stated that eco-entrepreneurs typically have to counter negative perceptions around eco-friendly products, adding that eco-entrepreneurs themselves must boost awareness of the benefits of these products,

Edwin Kavihuha, co-facilitator of the workshops and Entrepreneurship and Incubation Officer at NBII, stated that the Namibian government is placing great emphasis on the establishment of eco-businesses and that there is a need to incorporate these businesses within other business innovations.

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