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Stone crushing and demolition project wins Businesswomen Idea Competition

Hilja Nailoke Niingungo from Tsumeb is the proud owner of a new laptop, a 3G modem and a software package worth N$10, 300, compliment of Telecom Namibia. Hilja’s business idea trading under the name Don Trading CC, emerged as the overall winner  in the Economist Businesswomen Club’s Business Idea Competition which was launched at its Northern Conference held in Oshakati in August. Don Trading is a stone crushing and demolition project which Hilja submitted, along with some other applicants. The ideas were forwarded to and evaluated by judges from the Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC).
At the conference, the delegates were familiarised with the concept of business idea generation through a presentation on innovation and new business ideas by Silas Newaka from the NBIC. Delegates were also assisted with the completion of the idea template.
Oiva Angula, Senior Manager: Corporate Communications and Public Relations of Telecom Namibia, congratulated the winner and encouraged all participants in the competition not to give up on their ideas but pursue them to reality. “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 also the people involved in its continued growth and success,” said Oiva.
He urged both the private and public sector to work together to enable local businesses to grow, saying that although there are some good programmes in place for small businesses, there is still much to be done.
Commenting on Telecom’s sponsorship towards the Economist Businesswomen Club, Oiva highlighted the fact that the objective of Telecom Namibia is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship to boost self-employment opportunities and wealth creation at the community level, especially for women. Speaking at the award ceremony, Silas Nekwaya, innovation officer at NBIC described the criteria used in selecting the winning busines idea. “We first looked at the core element, which is the innovativeness of the idea and how usefull the idea was to benefit the community. Also, we identified if the idea was viable and if it had potential for growth and if the candidate identified a gap to foresee a demand for her idea,” said Nekwaya.
The NBIC will assist Hilya with a formal business plan that can be presented to a financial institution for funding. A Shack Dwellers Federation member, Hilya said she was grateful for the prize. “ Upon hearing about the prize that was up for grabs, I was determined even more to win,” an excited Hilya said. She said her business idea originated from the problem of crushing stones without proper tools that resulted in some members of the federation being affected by dust particles from the stones.

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