Enterprising start-up owner gets her products onto local retailers’ shelves
The owner of a start-up that manufactures solvents and detergents has been named the 2019 winner of the incubation competition run by Sanlam in partnership with the Namibia Business Innovation Institute at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
Linda Ndakolo of Linda P creations competed against four other start-ups this year before she was selected as the winner of the Sanlam Innovation Works project. Linda P Creations produces dishwashing liquid and various other cleaning products. Some of her brands like Kitchen Captain dishwashing liquid, are stocked by local supermarkets Shoprite and Maerua Spar.
At the announcement ceremony, Sanlam Group Chief Executive, Tertius Stears said they are aware that money alone can not address the problems faced by start-ups which is why the Sanlam Innovation Works programme is coupled with training, coaching and mentorship provided by the Business Innovation Institute.
During the competition, the top four entrepreneurs who participated in the programme each received a cash contribution of N$50,000 to invest in their businesses. This investment is then complemented by the ongoing training and mentoring from the Business Innovation Institute. The winner receives another N$25,000 as prize money which is intended for further investment.
Over the five years that the Innovation Works project has been running, 26 start-ups have been given a kickstart, in the process creating more than 100 jobs.
Mr Steve Katjiuanjo of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development said that the ministry has always driven and encouraged initiatives and programmes of capacity building and businesses development.”
He thanked Sanlam and the Business Innovation Institute for the Innovation Works project which enables entrepreneurial Namibians to create employment for themselves and others. He also called on other stakeholders to follow the example and help support the government with projects that promote enterprise and employment.
Finally, Stears congratulated Ms Ndakolo and urged the four businesses who took part in their programme, to continue investing in the businesses and to seize the opportunities that lie before them.
Caption: Winner of the 2019 Sanlam Innovation Works competition, Linda Ndakolo (centre) with Mr Steve Katjiuanjo (centre right) of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Mr Bjorn Wiedow (centre left) of the Namibia Business Innovation Institute, Mr Tertius Stears (second from right), Chief Executive of Sanlam Group, and the three other participants in the competition.