Top five Food Waste Challenge finalists announced
Proposals from social entrepreneurs poured in for the second phase of the Capricorn Foundation Food Waste Challenge, which concluded on 22 May, with a total of 152 submissions made on the open innovation platform.
The proposals were evaluated on pre-defined criteria through expert panels and five finalists were selected who will compete for the cash prize of N$100,000 and a brand package valued at N$50,000 from Synergi.
Most of the entries in this year’s Challenge were from Namibia and Botswana, with the top 5 hailing from Namibia. These finalists are:
1. The Impact Tank Analysis Foundation from Windhoek, with team leader Johanna Shihepo, proposes to address the challenges communities face regarding food waste, such as greenhouse gas emissions. “Our organisation came up with a business idea of composting food waste that occurs at a household level, retail establishments, and the food service industry in Namibia using the iCompost technology that composts organic waste in 6 hours,” she said.
2. SuperFly Bio Converters cc from Windhoek, focuses on sustainability by nature. This includes food waste recycling, sustainable insect protein products, and natural fertiliser. Team leader Oliver Bause said insect protein is gaining acceptance worldwide as a food source. “It has the added benefit of also being a good natural source of protein for the other common animal proteins consumed by people such as fish, poultry, and pork.”
3. Ndinandali farm operating in Opuwo, developed a unique approach to preserving the nutrients in fresh produce during COVID-19. “Ndinandali Farm is a pioneering agricultural venture dedicated to preserving the nutritional value of fresh produce while extending its shelf life. With a focus on innovation and sustainability, we have developed a unique approach that has revolutionised how we market and distribute our crops, resulting in preserved products that retain their original taste, nutritional value, and quality,” said Ndasilohenda Katangolo-Nakashwa from the farm.
4. Nova Research Consultancy (NRC) from Walvis Bay addresses the issue of hunger and poverty. According to Victoria Erasmus, seafood can play a major role in reducing hunger and at the same time create employment opportunities. “We want to set up a workstation that will eventually grow into a factory and use seafood heads and livers to produce food products for human consumption,” she said.
5. Eagle Foodhub App from Rundu’s team leader Eddy Ngonga proposes the Eagle Foodhub app. “This social enterprise will empower restaurants, shops, and individuals to donate surplus food through an app and web platform, connecting them with food shelters, orphanages, and those in need,” he said.
The Challenge called on the public to enter their solutions that can create self-sufficient social enterprises to address the issue of food in Namibia and create employment. The final proposals proved to be innovative, focussing on the sustainability of food resources, longer shelf life, preservation of nutritional value, and additional protein sources.
The final round will take place as a live event, called “The Eagles Den” on Thursday 22 June, where the top five participants will present their business ideas to the judges. In the meantime, the participants will receive mentoring from Business Box for the teams to prepare for the final round of judging, at the Eagles Den. The final winner of the Challenge will be announced by 13 July, three weeks after the Eagles Den evaluation.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for social entrepreneurs to get help to establish and grow their businesses. The exposure to Business Box and the Eagles Den will help them to exercise their entrepreneurial muscles to promote and sell their business ideas to potential investors and showcase their businesses to potential employees, clients, and investors. By sharing their stories, they will inspire fellow Namibians to also take action. This already makes all of them winners, irrespective if they win the grand prize or not,” said Dr Rikus Grobler, Capricorn Group Manager of Innovation and project coordinator of the Challenge.