Windhoek — Winner of the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) 2019 Innovation Award Pulsar Electronic Solutions proposed a smart metering platform to enable household and enterprise electricity users to control their electricity usage remotely using mobile devices. Although the Bank is actively engaged in financing additional generation and transmission capacity, it also recognises that streamlining and economising electricity usage is an important factor in energy sustainability for Namibia.
Deputy Director and Economic Adviser to the Minister of Finance Penda Ithindi presented the Award, together with Chairperson of the DBN Board Tania Hangula.
According to DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi, the Bank's experience is that innovation is not an instant, overnight phenomenon, but an exacting process of enterprise maturation to the point of bankability.
He added that Pulsar Electronic Solutions has earned the support of the Bank in the journey ahead and pledged support from the Bank to place the project on the path to enterprise success.
First runner-up in the Innovation Award, Nam-Oceanic Kelp Production, proposed the manufacture of chicken feed from kelp. Chicken is one of Namibia's staples, and feed is currently imported. Second runner-up Primebiochar proposed a soil supplement manufactured from biomass obtained in bush clearing. The supplement will assist in retaining water in the soil and improve nutrient value of the soil for horticulture.
Winner of the Good Business Awards large enterprise category, Wordpress, prints newspapers and supplements previously printed in South Africa and elsewhere.
Among its goals, the Development Bank of Namibia provides finance for local manufacturers, with the aim of reducing imports from across the border.
Runner-up in the large enterprise category, Ombepo Energy, constructed and operates Namibia's first wind farm near Lüderitz in the //Karas Region. Ombepo Energy is a venture between InnoSun Energy Holdings and Lüderitz Town Council. DBN has prioritised energy and electricity, and has developed a strong track record in the field of renewable energy.
Winner of the Development Bank of Namibia 2019 Good Business Awards SME category, Ian Shuttle, provides transport services for companies, shuttle services for hotels and chauffeur services. The business employs more than 50 people. The Bank has identified SMEs as important sources of employment creation.
First runner-up in SME category, Blue Box Technology, is owned by young entrepreneurs, providing digital retail media, event management and coin operated cell phone charging kiosks with secure lockers. The Bank has identified youth entrepreneurship as the breeding ground and basis for the future of Namibia's economy. Second runner-up, Miiyelo Investment, provides automotive retail services in Otjiwarongo, focusing on sale of tyres, wheel balancing, tow-in services - and it operates a car wash.
Talking about the nature of the Good Business Awards, DBN Chairperson Tania Hangula said the Bank's main objective is to support economic and social development. It aims to achieve this goal through the provision of finance and business support to Namibian enterprises.
Long-term business sustainability, she noted, is important to ensure sustainable economic growth and social progress. Winners of the Bank's large enterprise and SME awards represent this goal.
Through the Good Business and Innovation Awards, the Bank demonstrates commitment to support Namibian businesses who have demonstrated resilience and a winning attitude, Hangula added.
Meanwhile, Ithindi added that the Bank is a key agency in developing Namibia, announcing that the Bank has supported the creation of 24 000 new jobs and 32 000 temporary jobs since 2004, while approving over N$15 billion development finance for infrastructure and enterprise activities over the 15 years of its existence.