Businesswomen enter hall of fame

• By Business Reporter

THE Namibia Business Hall of Fame has honoured emerging entrepreneurs this month, since the year of initiation in 2004 alongside its laureates. These are entrepreneurs that have displayed ingenuity to the broader public and are community minded.

One such recipient was Ilke Platt, founder of Poiyah Media as she was inducted as an emerging entrepreneur whereby last month she was awarded Africa’s World Woman Leader, which took place virtually.

Managing director of Global Entrepreneurship Network and founder of Namibian Business Hall of Fame, Johanna Cloete, has been curating this ecosystem of entrepreneurs with a criteria based on who has been making and/or made immense contributions to our Namibian economy, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition, curation is also based on who has achieved business excellence, upholds the values of entrepreneurship and leadership, reigning as a custodian of our community.

The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Namibia approached this year’s award with the goals to increase the number of ordinary citizens in becoming serial entrepreneurs, thus improving the quality of life for them and the community at large and expand understanding and relations between the new and traditional elements, which foster to emerging start up communities and ecosystems; inclusive of entrepreneurial designed public programs. It takes a village where everyone – including the ‘tucked’ and ‘untucked’ shirts – collaborates to succeed.

Further, they were to support the emergence of a new class of global entrepreneurs with access to research, programs and networks inside the 180-nation strong GEW network. National boundaries are porous to innovation and a new creative class of risk takers is hard wired to a global network.

Another goal was to connect an emerging community of national start-up policy advisors, with a next generation network of world class entrepreneurial research institutions. By doing so, we can generate more robust research and data to support evidence- based policy-making, and more effective entrepreneurial support programming.

Lastly, it was allow competition to determine the champion entrepreneurs.

At the virtual ceremony, Cloete thanked all entrepreneurs and alluded to the pandemic having devastating effects but also many opportunities.

“This year we decided to host our event virtually due to the pandemic and despite various setbacks, technology has greatly assisted us to still host this event,” she mentioned.

Furthermore, well known members of the Namibian community have been inducted as laureates such as the late Werner List, Dr Frans Indongo, and First Lady Monica Geingos.

Upon receiving her award, founder of Poiyah Media, Platt said, “There needs to be more emphasis on emotional and mental support for an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs would often work in isolation, and the side effects, if not managed properly, can be devastating,” she expressed.

She further stated that, “This can easily result in the closure of business, slowing down of creativity, and a lack of passion. Entrepreneurs should be guided towards a financially free environment. There’s nothing more depressing than worrying about finances and losing your focus on providing a service to fill the gap. With these two aspects and also through more awareness around and mechanisms on how to cope mentally, a lot of entrepreneurs can easily avoid major pitfalls.”

All entrepreneurs inducted into the Namibian Business Hall of Fame are recognised and encouraged to pursue in their various businesses despite many reasons to close their business. Events as such are a reminder that hard work pays off and that perseverance prevails above all.

All winners for 2021 can be viewed on GEN Namibia social media platforms.