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Letshego innovation centre teaches rural entrepreneurs to solve problems

Letshego innovation centre teaches rural entrepreneurs to solve problems

The rural community of Ongenga close to the Angolan border in Ohangwena, has been chosen as the first site for an innovation centre by These Hands, a Botswana training start-up, in partnership with Letshego Namibia.

At the recent groundbreaking ceremony, acting Regional Manager of Letshego Namibia, Elise Nakapipi sketched These Hands’ background and innovation strategies to bring social enterprise training capacity to small rural communities.

“Our objective is to help useful innovations get the funding, the mentorship and the financial support needed to help, not only the inventors – but also other members of the community who can also gain from local innovation. Letshego’s brand promise is to IMPROVE LIVES – We are sure that when this innovation centre is launched, we will surely see the fruits in years to come and we thank our town council for endorsing and partnering with us Innovation creates so many opportunities and unlocks so much potential in communities,” said Nakapipi.

Letshego Namibia’s sister bank in Botswana has availed bridging finance of P1.76 million to These Hands to replicate their successful training programme in Botswana in Namibia.

Ongenga Regional Councillor, Mathew Shikongo said “Letshego Namibia is enabling us to identify and support more innovators in our local communities. Their support helps us to increase and educate local skills and provide growth opportunities for young entrepreneurs. We thank Letshego Namibia and its partners for working with us and ploughing back into our communities. We may not see the immediate impact that this centre has to offer, but like a tree when a seed is planted, generations to come will enjoy the fruits and shade it has to offer.”

These Hands is a social enterprise start-up based in Botswana, which trains and supports rural community innovators and entrepreneurs. As an enabler for development, they have also developed a social media platform dedicated to international development and co-creative design work that does not require an internet connection (USSD Based).


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The Community Contributor is any of a number of authors whose specific beat is community wellness, development and upliftment. Many of the authors have been contributors to the Economist for years. Others work for commercial enterprises, specialising in spreading their Corporate Social Responsibility messages. Ed.