Start-up heads east

During this year's event in Gobabis, ten participants get a platform to pitch their business ideas.

29 October 2018 | Business

The idea behind the festival is to inspire the community to be innovative in starting or upscaling businesses. Hailey Bathurst, organiser.

Yolanda Nel - If you are an entrepreneur and live in Gobabis, then this event is just for you!

On Saturday, 24 November, a start-up festival takes place at the Freedom Square informal settlement.

According to event organiser Hailey Bathurst, the festival is to the benefit of the community, thus hosting it in the settlement allows more people to participate.

“The idea behind the festival is to inspire the community to be innovative in starting or upscaling businesses, as well as gaining access to information on how to improve the state of their livelihood,” she said.

Most informal settlement dwellers are involved in some form of income-generating activity. “Supporting them is vital to improve the settlement's local economy and to tackle unemployment,” she added.

Pilot project

In addition, residents of Freedom Square are assisted in becoming economically empowered through flexible land tenure titles as part of a pilot project.

According to Bathurst, one of the objectives of the Land Tenure Act, is that title recipients should be economically empowered. In this vein the festival is the first step in encouraging the community to attain self-development.

Entrepreneurs with an innovative business that they believe will be to the benefit of the community are invited to submit their interest to the Gobabis municipality. All they have to do is share a short profile and an indication on whether they would be interested in speaking or supporting the festival. “This can be in kind by lending skills for workshops or by volunteering opportunities,” Bathurst said.

On the program

During the festival, visitors can look forward to a variety of activities, ranging from entrepreneurs sharing their knowledge and experience on developing a business, to a range of workshops that participants can select from. This includes urban agriculture, personal development and micro-lending.

“Ten participants will be pre-selected after registration to pitch their business ideas. Winners will be selected by a panel of industry leaders in the micro-financial lending sector,” she said.

This event is open to especially small business owners within and around Freedom Square, youth and community leaders in Gobabis, entrepreneurs and investors.

For more information, contact the Epako municipal offices on 062 577 300.

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