Old Mutual SEED initiative to empower grassroots businesses launched
By Clifton Movirongo.
Old Mutual Namibia, in partnership with Launch Namibia, the Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab officially launched the Old Mutual Sustainable, Economic & Empowerment Drive (OM SEED) on Tuesday.
The initiative will target three randomly selected grassroots markets located in Oshakati, Keetmanshoop, and Windhoek.
Old Mutual announced that under this initiative, it will select 60 applications per town to undergo business and financial training of which 20 will qualify to pitch to a panel of judges and three winners will be chosen per town to win their share of N$85,000 to upscale their businesses.
OM SEED’s objective is to empower 180 grassroots businesses by offering training on financial sustainability, business ethics and sustainable business practices from 60 chosen applicants per town.
“OM SEED is an Old Mutual flagship programme which brings together our Key Focus Areas through our social responsibility framework which centres around education and skills development, financial well-being, and community development,” said acting executive Old Mutual Marketing and Communications, Ashante Manetti.
Speaking at the launch, Manetti pointed out that of the 60 chosen applicants, 20 will qualify to pitch to a panel of three judges, and of the 20, three winners will be selected per town to win their share of the N$85,000.
“Applications opened on 5 July closing on 22 July 2022, with application forms readily available at the Old Mutual branches in each of the respective towns,” she added.
According to the terms and conditions, all applicants must be Namibian citizens or have permanent residence in Namibia, while at the same time producing an ID card with each submitted application form is a must.
The total prize pool is N$85,000 with first place taking home N$50,000, second place N$25,000, and third place N$10,000.
According to Manetti, Launch Namibia and FLI will facilitate the financial wellness and literacy training tailor-made for grassroots SMEs.
To enable the participants to progress to developing a short business presentation to the judges, each of the 60 shortlisted candidates will be required to attend training and will receive a certificate of participation in OM SEED.
Launch Namibia will conduct application information sessions on behalf of Old Mutual beginning this week in Windhoek from 5 to 7 July, Keetmanshoop from 8 to 10 July, and Oshakati from 13 to 15 July.
Training and pitching will take place on 3 and 4 August in Windhoek, 10 and 11 August in Keetmanshoop, and 17 and 18 August in Oshakati.
“This year we have specifically selected Keetmanshoop, Oshakati, and Windhoek as these towns are strategically located. SMEs or businesses within the tech, agriculture, manufacturing, education, finance, construction, and retail sectors are encouraged to participate in OM SEED,” commented Old Mutual spokesperson Mufaro Nesongano.
Meanwhile, the successful shortlisted candidates’ names will be posted on the Old Mutual Namibia social media pages and the Old Mutual’s branches in the towns mentioned.
From the left, Patty Olivier, MD: Old Mutual Corporate Segment; Yirka Maritz, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab: Head of Experimentation; Mufaro Nesongano, Old Mutual Manager: Communications and Foundation; Iyaloo Ailonga, Acting Secretariat Manager: Financial Literacy Initiative; Ashante Manetti, Old Mutual Acting Marketing and Communications Executive, Ndangi Katoma, MD: Old Mutual Retail Mass Market and Tom Shilongo, Founder and Chief Executive: Launch Namibia.