Start-Up Namibia

Project description

Title: Start-Up Namibia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Namibia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development (MITSMED), Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation (MHETI), City of Windhoek (COW)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

Context

In Namibia, preconditions for start-ups, setting up enterprises and upscaling a small business are inadequate. Support structures for start-ups are in their very early stages, albeit promising. Start-up Namibia thus aims to improve conditions for the establishment and growth of start-ups in selected regions in Namibia. Start-ups have the potential to drive the creation of new jobs in Namibia and can have a fundamental impact on overall economic productivity. Start-ups can also contribute to economic growth by spurring innovation and injecting competition. Therefore, a Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre will be built in Windhoek with mobile outreach units to selected regions in Namibia.

Objective

The project has created new opportunities for jobs in the start-up sector and mobile Centres are being setup in various regions throughout Namibia to aid in necessary services.

Approach

Start-ups create new jobs in Namibia. The combination of innovative technical solutions and traditional industries open new opportunities. Start-ups that develop and offer digital products and services to the market have the potential to be key growth drivers. However, tech-oriented and non-tech start-ups need demand-based and tailored support. To achieve the main goal of the project, the following activities are planned: 

The Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre will be built on the premises of the Bokamoso Entrepreneurial Centre in Windhoek. The Centre will incubate start-ups and serve as a “one-stop-shop” for all needs a start-up faces in its ideation, establishment and growth phases. In addition, mobile outreach units will serve start-ups in three regions in Namibia. The Centre will be run as an independent entity with a sustainable business model. 
The Start-up Centre in Windhoek as well as the mobile outreach units in the selected regions will provide business development services to Start-ups. This will strengthen entrepreneurial capacity and reduce the rate of failed businesses.

The project will also work on improving access to financial services for start-ups, such as start-up capital and growth financing. Improved access to financial information and funding sources should enable medium to long-term financing of product and business development and strengthen the performance of start-ups.
Cooperation with partners such as other start-up incubators and innovation centres, universities, financial institutions or associations will be set up to expand the service offer of the Start-up Centre and build the Namibian start-up ecosystem.