The best of the Development Bank of Namibia's best. The Bank's 2015 Good Business and Innovation Award recipients were announced at an event on Wednesday, 7 October 2015. FLTR: DBN CEO Martin Inkumb, Isdor Muronga (MD: Medi-Rad which won the Innovation Award for mobile mammography), Maggie von Luttichau (MD: Magnet Bureau de Change, which won the award for Best SME) and Adv. Vekuii Rukoro (CEO of Meatco, which won the award for Best Larger Enterprise).
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has announced the winners of the fourth annual Good Business and Innovation Awards at an event at the Safari Convention Center in Windhoek on 7 October 2015. The Deputy Minister of State Owned Enterprises, Hon. Engel Nawatiseb, delivered the keynote address, and handed the awards to the recipients.Larger enterprise
MeatCo was the overall winner in the Large Enterprise category.
Following veterinary restrictions imposed by South Africa, on the import of weaners, the Namibian beef production sector was in a depressed condition. Vulnerability to restrictions indicated over-dependence of the sector on exports of weaners to South Africa. In order to address the shortcoming of weaner production as a major activity of agriculture, Meatco received finance to add value to beef by purchasing weaners from local farmers and raising them to slaughterable cattle on feed lots. DBN finance was used to develop feed lots and procure cattle from farmers. In the process, an additional 538 direct jobs were created, and satellite feed lots were established at Otavi and Gobabis, providing additional opportunities for farmers to sell cattle.
Talking about the award, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi noted that although direct investment in agriculture is not within the scope of DBN's operations, further processing in the agri-industry, particularly packaged beef cuts to be produced and exported by Meatco, falls within the Bank's mandate as food manufacturing.
Certificates of Merit were presented to Wordpress Namibia and Namclay Bricks and Pavers. Wordpress Namibia is a start-up print manufacturer that prints high-volume runs of newspapers, as well as supplements that were previously printed in Namibia. Namclay Bricks and Pavers manufactures building material from clay that remains from mining operations in Uis.
Magnet Bureau de Change received the Award for Best SME. Magnet Bureau de Change received finance to establish new branches in various Namibian centres, including Keetmanshoop, Ondangwa and Rundu. The company previously used DBN finance to open the business in 2011, and to expand to Hosea Kutako International Airport in 2012.
Talking about the Award, CEO Martin Inkumbi said the Bank has targeted a transformative effect on the banking system as one of its goals. He highlighted the Bank's role in expanding access to banking through Nampost Savings Bank, a former Good Business Award Winner. He said that one of the Bank's goals in the sector is to increase local ownership of financial holdings, and that Magnet Bureau de Change, wholly owned by a Namibian woman, fit the bill for ownership by a formerly disadvantaged Namibian, as well as the Bank's focus on development of women entrepreneurship. Cottage Village and Kings Service Station were named runners-up in the SME category.
Cottage Village used DBN finance to construct a building materials warehouse that stabilises the supply of building material in the recently proclaimed town of Okalongo. Kings Service Station used DBN finance to develop a service station and retail facilities at Ondando village.
Medi-Rad was the winner of the Innovation Award. The company presented a plan for a mobile mammography unit to be used in screening for breast cancer. Mammography is currently centralised in Windhoek and Swakopmund. By utilising a mobile mammography unit, Medi-Rad will effectively be able to provide mammography in Tsumeb and Oshikoto without restricting access to those who can travel to fixed premises.
Talking about the Award, Martin Inkumbi said that the Bank has a long association with the medical services sector and has financed medical technology and services for other entities. The concept of mobile mammography services, he said, is one that the Bank believes will have an immediate impact on women's health.
Certificates of Merit in the innovation category were awarded to BIA Investments and Oshuulo Trading Enterprises. BIA Investments presented a plan for adding value to mahangu by manufacturing a porridge. Oshuulo Trading Enterprises presented a plan for canning of locally grown Namibian beans.
Talking about the judging, Martin Inkumbi said the entries were selected within the Bank based on the criteria of the awards which included enterprise administration, viability, use of local resources, employment and development impact. The nominees were then further rated by a panel of judges consisting of external and internal expertise.