Govt targets 150 start-ups by 2023

By Hilary Mare

THROUGH Start-up Namibia the government aims to have national hubs with regional outreach with a target to create at least 150 sustainable startups by December 2023, Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu has said.

Iipumbu who was last week speaking at the inauguration of Omaheke innovation village: O-Space, highlighted that her ministry in collaboration with key stakeholders and development partners developed programmes designed to assist Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and further aimed at supporting various start-ups and growing businesses to withstand the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have no doubt that the O-Space initiative will come on board in offering practical solutions to aspiring business owners and equally providing a much needed support of a conducive platform to increase productive business in our economy.

Let this inauguration lay foundation now in order to reap desired fruits in the future aimed at promoting business, trade and sustainable development within the country and the international business fraternities. The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade through the ‘Growth at Home’ initiative, is committed to support industrial, trade, investment and business activities in the country,” Iipumbu said adding that where business is involved, her ministry values and believes that MSMEs development is the catalyst for the development of the industrialisation base of any nation.

The O-Space creativity seeks to nurture entrepreneurship and facility-accelerating business through supporting established business start-ups, integrating small businesses, youth and creative industries in the region.

“Putting the interests of the Namibian people first is what excites us the most. This is because at the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade communicate the ‘Growth at Home’ language – growing at home first is essential for development and remains our top priority. A pragmatic creativity of such magnitude in the region is a powerful tool that ignites innovative potential to thaw unemployment among especially women and youth by getting them involved in growing the economy of the country,” Iipumbu said.

She went on to state that government is well aware of the importance of the MSMEs, start-ups and youth entrepreneurship and the role they are playing to develop the economy, hence the ministry is set to implement appropriate policies and programmes with a view to enhance businesses growth that include development of a National Informal Economy and Entrepreneurship Development Policy, currently in the pipeline.

“The policy’s objective is to develop the informal economy and its participants into commercially viable and mainstream economy sector, which could contribute to the economic growth of our country and its inhabitant in a sustainable manner.

“The policy will further seek to address challenges faced by the informal economy including infrastructure, entrepreneurial development, and institutional support. Additionally, the policy is to be developed into a national business promotion act to help ensure that it is integrated with the Namibia Investment Promotion Act with the main emphasis on sector reservation and ensuring the attraction of viable and complementary foreign investment,” further explained Iipumbu.