SANLAM Namibia last week announced the five business recipients of the 2018 innovation works.

The Sanlam Innovation Works is a corporate social responsibility project fully funded by Sanlam and supported by the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII). The project, which is now in its fourth year, has to date supported 16 upcoming entrepreneurs with start-up capital, coaching and mentorship needed to get their businesses off the ground.

This year, the five beneficiaries will each receive N$50 000 as capital from the insurance company, and soft skills training, capacity-building and mentorship from the NBII to support them on their business journey.

The project is aimed at supporting innovative businesses and creating a platform for mentorship, coaching and skills training for these innovations to come to fruition.

Speaking during the announcement, Sanlam group chief executive officer Tertius Stears encouraged the five recipients to remain focused on their goals, and take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them. He also reiterated Sanlam’s commitment to the project, and thanked the NBII for the support they have provided to the project since its inception.

This year, Sanlam received over 60 applications for the project, and together with the NBII team, selected 15 businesses to present their ideas. Thereafter, the five businesses were selected as recipients of the project.

The businesses selected to participate in the Sanlam Innovation Works for 2018 are Agro Business & Investment CC, Nam-Ocean Kelp (Seaweed) Production Enterprise CC, Ilotu InvestmentCC, Pestrana Investment CC and Kandele Investment CC.

Agro Business & Investment CC makes snacks, breakfast cereals, instant soups and sorghum coffee substitute. They will also have a training centre that will be involved in training several personnel on how to come up with the grain end-product of their choice.

Nam-Ocean Kelp (Seaweed) Production Enterprise CC harvests kelp seaweed, a marine resource of high nutritional and medicinal value which can be used locally as an ingredient in livestock feed formulation and manufacturing.

Ilotu Investment CC is a Namibian cosmetics manufacturer. It specialises in the production of organic, essential, oil-based, and a nutrient-filled range for body and health products, including full body clays, lotions, shampoos, hair food, body washes and other cosmetic products.

Pestrana Investment CC developed a mobile application which commuters can use to identify whether a particular taxi is registered or not, thereby curbing crime.

Kandele Investment CC developed an application known as Edunamtext, which is an online, non-tangible computer-based SMS platform application which is designed specifically for the better involvement of parents/guardians in the educational affairs of their children throughout the entire year.

Through text messages, the platform will serve as a highway of information to deliver instant updates on school affairs, announcements and all relevant information that the schools want to share with parents.

Invitations for entries for 2019 will be announced in the media in November 2018.

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