Namibia Business Angel Network (NABAN)

By | February 27, 2018

Namibia Business Angel Network (NABAN)

FROM LEFT: FABlab interns and NUST students – Sandile Pazvakavambwa, Stefanie Garises, and Deborah Ajibola, attending the exploratory session.

The Fabrication Laboratory (FABlab) at NUST, in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), established the Namibia Business Angel Network (NABAN). An exploratory session was held with local investors with the aim to strengthen the local start-up ecosystem.

“The support needed is not necessarily monetary. New businesses need mentorship and guidance from experienced mentors who can advise them on the right steps to take and get the products to the market. It is about networking, skill sharing and getting young business owners ready for potential investment,” said Kirstin Wiedow, Director and co-founder of FABlab. The mentors are referred to as ‘Business Angels.’ The need for building this type of network was brought to fore after FABlab and Team Namibia initiated the ADDVENTURE pitching platform in 2015. Over the past few years, over 30 local entrepreneurs have been supported and over N$ 25 million has been availed under this initiative.

“In Namibia, there is a shortage of support for the initial stage of start-up enterprises to flourish and reach the seed capital level. Creating a local eco-system – where it is easier to start a business and present a minimum viable product – is critical for the country to prosper and create new jobs for the youth. NUST students have also been involved in developing an innovative mobile application for the Network ‘Angels’ and local start-ups, in which they will be provided with a match-making platform,” remarked Wiedow.

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Deborah Ajibola, a fourth-year Software Development student, and an intern at FABlab, spoke highly about the NABAN Application (App). “The App is a match-making mobile/web application that enables start-ups, growing or established businesses to find potential mentors or investors. This is possible due to the “match me” function, which contains a pairing algorithm that allows the users to type in key words such as location, the type of business, size, skills needed and other inputs to make the search more specific.”

NABAN will be officially launched at the upcoming Start-up Festival in June.