Young Businesswoman of the Year finalists announced

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-The finalists in the Young Businesswoman of the Year have been announced and among them is young legal practitioner Esmeralda Katjaerua. For 2017 there are 18 nominees in four categories: business owner, community and government sector, private and corporate award and young businesswoman of the year awards.

“The aim is 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 wellbeing of our society,” said Desere Lundon-Muller, partner and marketing manager at The Namibia Economist, the organisers of The Businesswoman of the Year Awards.

The awards event gives recognition to the innovation, perseverance and creativity of women who have achieved success. This year’s event will be held on October 18 at Safari conference hotel. Muller said one of the three business category winners will be Namibia’s top businesswoman and be the 18th recipient of the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year award for 2017.

The 29-year old Katjaerua’s nomination for the award “came as a surprise.” She has been a legal practitioner at Angula Coleman for four years, before she opened her own legal practices in March this year.

“For me, that’s what I take from this regardless of who wins. The fact that someone else, other than myself sees what I am doing and recognises what I am doing is special. I am humbled by that,” said Katjaerua, who is now a litigation attorney who works on family matters, family law, commercial matters and debt collection.
She obtained her law qualification in 2012 and was admitted as lawyer in the High Court the following year. Katjaerua said opening her own firm has been overwhelming and exciting at the same time.

“It is a huge responsibility. A client’s case is a personal thing because a client is a person and not just a file, so knowing that I have that responsibility to deal with a client case and have absolutely nobody else to run to,” she remarked.

Katjaerua said the only area they don’t really venture into is criminal law. “We do it in some circumstance where we look at the case on its merits. If we don’t know, we refer it away. If the case is out of my [area of] expertise I refer it to a different lawyer, who specialises in that case,” she added.

The 2017 nominees are:
Business Owner
Marianne Akwenye, founder and CEO Nomad Holdings
Ina Cramer, MD of Cramer Ice Cream
Ashante Manetti-Maasdorp, Owner of Distinctive Art
Ingrid Mettler, MD of International Training College Lingua
Claudette Nahum, Managing member of Solid Ground Investments
Leading Edge Management Consultants
Rosalind Schlabitz, Owner of Rosalind Julia Photography
Piachon Sheya, Owner of EDI administration
Irene Simeon-Kurz, Founder and CEO of Steelform Group Usakos Engen
Irma Solomons, MD and founder of Afrisay Group holdings

Community and Government Sector
Helena Shikomba, Founder and teacher at Amateta Primary school
Elsie Shinedima, Executive producer of New Business on NBC
Louise Shixwameni, Deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Enterprises

Corporate and Private Sector
Nangula Kauluma, MD of Old Mutual Short-Term Insurance
Mildy Samaria, MD of Cornastone Information Technology Services
Trula Zogana, Head of private banking at NedBank Namibia

Young Businesswoman of the Year
Ilke Akwenye, Manager of Transformation and Communications at Old Mutual
Namtenya Aksel, Owner of Tenya Investments cc
Esmeralda Katjaerua, Owner of Katjaerua Legal Practitioners.

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