Moroccan commercial bank, Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE), is calling on Namibians to participate in the African Entrepreneurship Award, a pan-African award that seeks to invest US$1 million (about N$12.1 million at current exchange rate) in business ideas of young Africans as well as provide mentorship to African entrepreneurs.
“This award is for Africans, including Namibians. We want to hear your business ideas that will promote innovation in the fields of education and environment, as well as the category we call uncharted – never done before in Namibia or the region. We strongly encourage Namibians to be a part of the award,” said Soraya Sebti, a representative of the African Entrepreneurship Award, who visited Namibia last week.
In the education category, the award is looking for business ideas that will impact education with the potential to scale across Africa, where 11 million young Africans enter the job market every year. In the environment category, the award is looking for business ideas that will impact the environment with the potential to scale across Africa, where 11.3 million hectares of land are ravaged every year by poor agricultural systems, over-grazing, and deforestation. In the uncharted category, the award is looking for business ideas that explore the unexplored, and attempting things not yet attempted, a business idea that boldly goes where no one has gone before in Africa.
The African Entrepreneurship Award team met the Namibian Business Innovation Centre (NBIC), the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), Walvis Bay Corridor Group, the Namibia Trade Forum, as well as SME Compete and local entrepreneur Sylvanie Beukes, who is one of the award judges. Beukes is the author of “New Money Masters”.
“We came here to learn about Namibia. Our objective is to better understand how this award can help Namibians start businesses that will create jobs, improve lives and inspire others in Namibia and across Africa,” said Sebti.