Four More Annual Awards to Be Won by Women

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By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK The Namibian Businesswoman of the Year Award is to change face following more categories that have been added to the sole award since 1994. The additional categories are Business Owner Award, Private and Corporate Sector Award, Community and Government Award and Young Businesswoman Award. This was announced on Tuesday at the launch of the 13th Namibian Businesswoman of the Year Award to be announced in September 2007. The Business Owner Award will honour a woman with 50 percent share or more in a business with responsibility for key management decision-making, while the Private and Corporate Sector Award is open to employees in the private and corporate sectors or owners with less that 50 percent share in a business. The other two – Community and Government Award and Young Businesswomen’s Award – are open to employees of government departments, statutory bodies and non-profit organizations and also to those aged 30 years or under as at June 2007 respectively. The winners of the three business categories automatically become eligible for the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year. Telecom Namibia, one of the main sponsors of the award, is of the opinion that although the project is 13 years old, much of the country’s entrepreneurial potential remains untapped. Acting Managing Director, Wessel van der Vyver, said at the launch that the government, the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other organizations should tackle barriers in finance, skills, business advice and innovation in order to advance the cause of women’s empowerment and to contribute to national economic growth. He said the company was committed to creating an environment in which enterprise is seen as an option for everyone and where many people have the desire, skills and an opportunity to start a successful business, where all those harbouring ambitions to start businesses were assisted and also where there is a supportive business environment with all small businesses finding it easy to access finance and other services. DesÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¨rÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© Lundon-Muller, Partner and Marketing Manager of the Namibian Economist which is the organizer of Namibian Businesswomen projects, said the award aims at raising awareness for equal opportunity to provide a platform for decision-makers to recognize and promote the status of women and to promote the creation of small and medium businesses in the country. “This prestigious event gives recognition to the innovation, perseverance and creativity of the women who have achieved success,” she said, adding that the award also seeks to reward and encourage high-quality businesswomen and entrepreneurs for their excellence so as to showcase role models and honour those who form the core of economic growth and contribute to the well-being of society. Also speaking at the launch, Castle Brewing Corporate Affairs Director, Albertus !Naruseb, said the objective of their joining hands with the organizer in sponsoring the award was to bring women on par with their male counterparts through empowerment. “It is our wish to see women moving up the corporate ladder and to be counted as equals in the mainstream business activities,” he said. Nomination forms for the awards can be obtained from the Namibian Economist offices and anyone who knows an individual who meets the criteria, such as spouse, employees, bankers, small business agencies, accountants and business consultants, can nominate the person as a candidate. Since 1994, twelve women, namely Sharon Moore, Carola Werner, Dr Karin van Wenzel-Obholzer, Carol Dercksen, Professor Agnes van Dyk, Sara Elago, Lena Markus, Anita Devenish, Dr Christina Swart-Opperman, Maria Shivute, Dr Victoria Nicodemus and Amalia Schmidt have been awarded for their business acumen and achievements.