The Hanns Seidel Foundation Namibia (HSF) Environmental Awareness and Climate Change Project and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) at the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) jointly conducted the fifth and final Eco-Entrepreneurship Workshop as part of the Eco-Entrepreneurship Training and Mentorship Programme in Oshakati from the 20-22 June 2017.
The workshop brought together 26 aspiring eco-entrepreneurs from northern and north-eastern Namibia who were all eager to sharpen their entrepreneurship skills. The interactive workshop was aimed at capacitating business start-ups and small and medium enterprises on the importance of seizing green business opportunities that can contribute to the realisation of the Namibian Green Economy. Participants were also trained on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship as well on developing a sound business model.
The participants openly exchanged ideas based on their experiences during the five-minute pitch presentation sessions. Participants stressed on the importance of information-sharing platforms such as the ones provided by the Hanns Seidel Foundation Namibia (HSF) and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) as they believed that these platforms can assist in building strong cooperation amongst entrepreneurs in Namibia. Most of the participants are already engaged in entrepreneurial activities and it did not take long for them to get on the entrepreneurship journey by sharing on ways they can possibly partner up with each other in the future.
What was interesting about the participants in the Oshakati workshop is that most of the participants are not only empowering themselves by already running businesses, but they are already ploughing back into their respective communities by sharing resources and skills through organised groups. Participants stressed financial constraints as the main obstacle to preventing them from fully realising their envisaged business ideas. Participants however stated that it was high time that Namibians “walk the talk” by engaging in entrepreneurial activities that could alleviate food insecurity, unemployment and ultimately foster knowledge-sharing amongst their respective communities.
The three-day workshop was not only informative but inspirational to participants and facilitators, as both were left inspired to positively change the environment through eco-entrepreneurship. One of the participants who attended the workshop was, Albertina Shilikomwenyo who runs a vegetable garden in the Okaku Constituency close to Ondangwa, who stated that, "the workshop encouraged me to put more effort into my business by adding quality to my products."
Click here for more views from other workshop participants at the fifth and final Eco-Entrepreneur training workshop.