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Agribusiness boot camp: a potential game changer for Agripreneurs.

In partnership with Start-Up Namibia, Women in Agriculture Namibia recently hosted an agribusiness boot camp in Windhoek. The boot camp that lasted for two and a half week of training is the first to occur between the two organisations.

The purpose of the boot camp was to find entrepreneurs or potential entrepreneurs who have an innovative idea for new service/product in agriculture and support them while in their early stage of business. The boot camp also intended to impart digital skills, business skills and urban farming skills to the participants.

According to Geoffroy Berson an Agritech Advisor from GIZ Start-Up Namibia; the boot camp was targeting start up that have innovative minds, with products or services that are scalable  and can massively impact farmers or the agricultural sector.

Helvi Shindume, the founder for Women in Agriculture Namibia highlighted that the boot camp came with the notion for people to look at farming as a business and not just as another way of living. She further added that the aim of the boot camp was also to strengthen and encourage more women to participate in agricultural related activities through information sharing, networking, coordinating programs as well as innovative projects.

The call for applications started in September, the successful applicants were required to pitch (present) their business ideas. Upon completion of the training, the participants graduated and received certificate of completion.

“The boot camp have been such a good experience, I have learned the importance of having accounting in business, knowing the digital marketing applications on how to capture my audience and sell my products”, says Ida Nakatana one of the participant at the boot camp.

Another participant, Jacqueline Valombola stated that through the boot camp she have learned on how to market her products, the right approach to get customers and acquired digital skills such as setting up a website for her products/service.

Linda McLeod scooped the overall award for the best innovative agribusiness idea. Linda who holds a Global Master in Block chain Technologies with the University of Barcelona pitched an idea on combining agriculture with exponential technology and implementing technology within the agricultural sector.

As an overall winner, she will be provided with coaching sessions, receive a free ticket for the Agritech incubation programme set to begin mid-November. She also received funding of up to N$ 10 000.00 to start with the implementation of her business idea.

The two organisations (Start-Up Namibia and Women in Agriculture Namibia) emphasized that they are willing to replicate the Agribusiness boot camp across the country, as there is a demand for upskilling in entrepreneurship and digital technology.