OM SEED initiative concludes in Oshakati
The final award ceremony and Pitch Night for the Old Mutual Sustainable, Economic & Empowerment Drive (OM SEED) in Oshakati created some memorable moments as this concluded the OM SEED project for 2022.
Three entrepreneurs from Oshakati won their share of N$85,000, displaying the determination and drive of entrepreneurs in the northern part of the country.
Old Mutual Namibia along with Launch Namibia, the Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab completed the third and final edition of OM SEED on 18 August, with the top 20 Oshakati entrepreneurs taking the stage to pitch their ideas to a panel of three judges.
During the Award Ceremony, Jacobina Nangula of Oshana Ceramics Manufacturing CC walked away with the first prize of N$50,000. “Today is a special day for me. Through the prize money, I am able to acquire new machinery to expand and increase our ceramic production and better promote our business.”
Nangula encourages the youth to never give up on their dreams, and “work hard to realise your dreams because through that you can create more job opportunities for other Namibians and better our economy”.
Omwene-Tupopila Haitula of Tupo Namfood CC came second, winning N$25,000. “Today I am really happy and grateful. I don’t even know what to say, but the prize money will help me build a new chicken house and expand my business. I want to encourage other entrepreneurs to never stop shooting their shots. One day you will be rewarded for the risks you take to make your dreams a reality,” Haitula said.
Abner Tomas of Ndaka Mushrooms and Processing was third and won N$10,000. “The money I won today will play an integral part in me growing my business, and I hope to invest it in marketing to position my brand better in the market. I want to encourage other entrepreneurs to start working on their dreams today. Don’t wait for that perfect moment, just start and believe in yourself and your dream,” Tomas said.
During the award ceremony Mufaro Nesongano, Manager: Communications at Old Mutual said the team was humbled to be able to play a part in helping Namibian entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality.
“We started this journey in Windhoek and ended it in style in Oshakati. From more than 800 applications, we were able to impact 180 entrepreneurs through business and financial training. Out of these we awarded nine entrepreneurs from Windhoek, Keetmanshoop, and Oshakati with much-needed capital to expand their businesses. Additionally, the nine entrepreneurs will also be incubated for a three-month period to assist them in utilising their training and capital in the most effective way to position their businesses better in the market”.
The mayor of Oshakati, His Worship Leonard Hango, commended OM SEED for the impact it had on the lives of local entrepreneurs. “I am impressed by the dedication seen today by our entrepreneurs. Our country has exceptional talent, and seeing corporates like Old Mutual invest in our Namibian entrepreneurs warms my heart.”
In conclusion Chuma Siboleka of the Financial Literacy Initiative congratulated the entrepreneurts in Oshakati for their vigour and determination. “OM SEED has shown me the talent we have in our country and I want to applaud each and every entrepreneur. You have shown hard work, enthusiasm, and commitment to realise your dreams through your pitches, and we are excited to see how your business will grow.”
Back row: Patricia Olivier: Managing Director of Old Mutual Corporate Segment; Chuma Siboleka: Financial Literacy Initiative Senior Economist: Training and Coordination; Kuveri Tjarondo: Project Coordinator at Launch Namibia; Mufaro Nesongano: Manager: Communications and Old Mutual Foundation; Elzine Mushambi: Founder of Impact Tank; Toini Muteka: Old Mutual Human Capital Executive and Leonard Hango: Oshakati Mayor.
Front row: Abner Tomas: Ndaka Mushrooms and Processing; Jacobina Nangula: Oshana Ceramics Manufacturing CC and Omwene-Tupopila Haitula: Tupo Namfood CC