The Hanns Seidel Foundation Namibia (HSF) Environmental Awareness and Climate Change Project and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) at the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) jointly offered a workshop focused on environmentally sustainable enterprise development to 25 participants on 14-16 March 2017 at the NBII offices in Windhoek West.
The workshop is the first of five workshops scheduled from March to June 2017 under the Eco-Entrepreneurship Training and Mentorship Programme jointly initiated by the NBII and the HSF Environmental Awareness and Climate Change Project.
Twenty-four participants from the central regions with innovative eco-entrepreneurship ideas were selected to attend the first workshop. The innovative ideas ranged from waste management to manufacturing of environmentally friendly products. The workshop encouraged the aspiring eco-entrepreneurs to make use of environmental challenges to their advantage and establish businesses that are both environmentally sustainable and profitable. Innovative thinking was encouraged throughout the three-day workshop with participants receiving expert advise as well as advising each other on different ways of realizing their ideas into profitable enterprises.
The first day focused on informing participants about their role in contributing to the realization of a Namibian green economy. Participants were further briefed on the importance of a viable business model, market research and how their products or services can contribute to the reduction and curbing of environmental challenges such as pollution and deforestation.
On the second and third days, participants presented their ideas and how they planned to practically apply what they had learned at the workshop. Ideas were discussed and each participant received constructive feedback and criticism from the facilitators and fellow participants on marketing, access to funding, possible partnerships and legal requirements that must be met to enforce their said ideas into sustainable and environmentally friendly enterprises that can contribute to the economic growth of Namibia.
This opportunity saw many of the participants motivated and determined to embark on the eco-entrepreneurship journey. Furthermore, NBII will provide individual mentorship to all the participants after the workshop and participants from all five workshops will also be able to enter their business ideas in an eco-business competition later in the year to stand a chance to win N$20 000 to develop their business further.
The next workshop is scheduled to take place in April 2017 with the next selected group of eco-entrepreneurs.