Food Waste Challenge Phase 2 attracts more entries this year
The Capricorn Foundation recently announced the successful conclusion of entries for phase two of its Food Waste Challenge (FWC).
In line with its vision to be Connectors of Positive Change, the Foundation previously called for innovative solutions that can create or expand self-sufficient social enterprises (businesses) to address the issue of food waste in Namibia and create employment for Namibians when it officially launched the Challenge in April.
“We are excited to announce that we have received 277 registrations for the challenge and that 152 submissions were formally entered. Thus, we had more entries this year compared to last year’s Challenge. These submissions included individual, team, and business entity participants,” said Dr Rikus Grobler, Capricorn Group’s Manager of Innovation and the Challenge project coordinator.
The FWC was based on an open innovation platform, offering a cash prize of N$100 000 from the Capricorn Foundation plus a branding refresh and a marketing package from Synergi Marketing PTY Ltd worth N$50,000. Other project partners included Business Box Windhoek and the Gondwana Care Trust. The Capricorn Foundation sought ideas that would use social entrepreneurship to radically reduce food waste while also creating employment opportunities with the outcome of new possibilities in addressing the basic need for food security for the most vulnerable people while positively impacting society to improve the quality of life of many Namibians.
The entries received were mostly from Namibia and Botswana. Many entries were from students and young adults with diverse ideas of which some were focused on technological solutions, using food waste as compost to grow and produce other value-adding products and animal feeds, collecting and distributing food, awareness of food waste, and others focused on specific communities and areas.
The Capricorn Foundation confirmed that they are currently busy with Round 1 evaluations conducted by 7 internal judges from Capricorn Group to get to the top 5 entries or the semi-finalists which will be announced on 7 June.
The 5 semi-finalists will then be coached and mentored by Business Box from 8 to 16 June to prepare and polish their business pitches for the final round titled “The Eagles Den” on 22 June 2023, where they will present their business proposals to the judging panel in a live environment. The idea is to “groom” the potential entrepreneurs to learn the skills of how to “promote” their business idea and raise funding for their ventures, and in doing so, also inspire their fellow Namibians. Finally, the announcement of the winning entry is expected to occur by 13 July.
“This year’s Challenge was for a business proposal (social enterprise) and the submissions were much more detailed compared to last year where only ideas were requested. Once again, we are grateful and amazed by Namibians’ creativity in coming up with solutions to address the issue of food waste and their compassion for their fellow Namibians. We look forward to the announcement of the winning solution”, said Marlize Horn, Executive Officer of the Capricorn Foundation.