DBN Good Business and Innovation Award winners announced
Transport and logistics sector wins all round for excellent enterprise
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) announced the winners of the Good Business Awards and Innovation Award at an event held in Windhoek on 5 November 2014.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Finance, Hon Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. focused on the importance of innovation for Namibia.
Minister Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said innovation is not only needed in science and technology. It is needed in all walks of life, be it poets, actors, journalists or politicians. She said innovation is a route to financial inclusiveness, but that in some cases the existing financial services infrastructure can be a barrier to innovation.
Minister Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also said that Namibia needs to ensure that regulatory frameworks and supervisory practices give sufficient space to encourage competition and innovation to promote formal financial sector participation by individuals and SMEs.
DBN Board Member, Albie Basson, said innovation is sometimes not given the space that it needs to thrive as it is seen as a risk to capital preservation because the ideas are most likely untried and untested. He said that, through the Innovation Award, DBN is seeking to unlock the potential gains of innovation.
Basson said that appraisal of finance for innovation may be hampered by a short term view, but that a longer term view should be encouraged in order to envision benefits of innovation and returns to investments in the future.
He went on to say by saying that current evolution of Vision 2030 envisages more emphasis on human capital. He pointed out that approach will develop thinkers and intellectual capacity which will lead to visionary ideas.
Basson concluded that innovation is a potential resource for the future provided it is nurtured with forethought for its potential in enterprise, and with finance.
The winners of the several Awards were all from the transport and logistics sector, with the Innovation Award going to a financial product related to the transport sector. Communication Manager Jerome Mutumba said this was not a bias towards the sector but due to excellent performance of each company from among entries across all sectors, as rated by a panel of DBN and independent external judges.
Innovation Award winner
The Innovation Award was won by Namib Industrial Group's product 'Eenda Nawa – Go Safe'.
Eenda Nawa is travel insurance for persons using public transport, particularly taxis and long distance buses. Members of the public using any form of transport on Namibian Roads can SMS to Eenda Nawa as payment for insurance to cover accidents during the 24 hour period subsequent to the SMS.
Namib Industrial Group identified a gap in the market for insurance cover on Namibian roads, and cited the nation's relatively high number of accidents. In the event of an accident, the product provides pay-outs to individuals and / or families, depending on the cover selected. The cover is applicable to hospitalisation and funeral expenses.
Runners-up in the Innovation Award were Smart Solutions and Malakia Tyre Recycling.
Large Enterprise winner
The winner in the category Large Enterprise was The Six Thousand Transport CC. The transport company received DBN finance to expand its truck fleet to provide contracted transport to large manufacturers, subcontract to large logistic groups and provide transport for smaller retailers. The expansion added 9 new employees to an existing 18 employees. Indirectly, the additional revenue contributes to employment of approximately 327 employees in sister companies within the group.
Tungeni Africa Investments and J&A Popular Inn, runners-up in the large enterprise category were awarded certificates of merit.
The winner in the category for SMEs was Raino's Trucks. Raino's Trucks specialises in repairs to trucks and delivery vehicles. It has established workshops in Windhoek, Ondangwa, Grootfontein and Khorixas. The company holds contracts with the Government of Namibia and the City of Windhoek. It has twice been financed by DBN, once to acquire premises in Windhoek, and once for premises in Grootfontein. The company employs approximately 43 people.
Runner-up SMEs Olupembana Bricks and Okozozepa Investments received certificates of merit.
Selection and independent external judges
Nominees were selected by members of the DBN staff. The winners and most meritorious entries were selected from rated by a panel of judges consisting of internal judges and independent external judges. The external judges for the Good Business Awards consisted of Digu //Naobeb (CEO: Namibia Tourism Board), Taara Shanika (CEO: Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and Danny Meyer (Director: SMEs Compete). Taara Shanika assisted as independent external judge of the Innovation Award.
Scores for the Larger Enterprise and SME categories were judged on similar baseline criteria, with additional criteria appropriate to the category. The baseline criteria were development impact, business administration and corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility included upliftment of employees and communities. Scores for the Innovation Award were calculated on the basis of innovation, viability and development impact. All finalists made presentations on their enterprises, and the understanding of their enterprise as well as the quality of their presentations was added to the combined score.