Women have proven they have the business nous to thrive in what is conventionally considered the male-dominated world of entrepreneurship.
This was the general consensus at the recent 2018 Female in Biosciences Businesses (FemBioBiz) Programme Awards hosted by the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), where 10 female BioBiz finalists’ businesses competed for four top spots in the competition.
The four that emerged victorious were Nubian Seed, a local organic cosmetic and health and beauty product manufacturer and retailer; Maungo Craft, an organic fruit jam producer; Healthy Delights, a nutritional food producer and a Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) student, Bame Rammala.
Rammala’s creation is an antimicrobial toilet seat, a welcome initiative to germaphobes (people with an overly strong fear of germs) as well as for general sanitation.
The finalists were commended for their contribution to the business landscape and encouraged to keep their trailblazing efforts going.
“Awards present us with the very important opportunity to recognise the success of women leaders in business, thereby creating female role models whose achievements will inspire other women to raise their sights and reach their goals,” said BIH’s Director- Cluster Development, Dr. Budzanani Tacheba in his welcome remarks.
Tacheba revealed the awards followed a tailor-made acceleration programme, which encompassed a series of boot-camps, workshops and coaching sessions for the finalists.
“This was to assist them to scale up their business ventures and increase their value as leaders and role models in the community,” he explained, continuing that the type of shortlisted businesses for the awards demonstrate that women can, and do, achieve despite the odds.
“They have been succeeding and thriving in inventions within the Biosciences sphere,” praised Tacheba.
Speaking of the shortlisted businesses, BIH Board Chair, Dr. Gloria Somolekae said she was particularly impressed as all their products are organic, indigenous and eco-friendly.
Somolekae noted that the awards contribute towards women’s economic empowerment, which, she stressed, is one of the world’s most promising areas of investment to be tapped into.
“When we speak of women’s economic empowerment we refer to women’s rights to occupy leadership positions, lead businesses, access finance and capacity building and more significantly, their liberty to make decisions that affect their livelihoods,” she said.
Some of the finalists included Mmakwena Moesi of Viva Organica, Sebusamathe Mokgwe of Dream Creamery, Lebogang Mmono of Just Ginger, Tlotlo Phuduhudu of Healthy Delights, Students Kapweke Kandondi and Cookie Keitebetse of BUAN and the University of Botswana (UB) respectively as well as Bokang Swartz of Tsina Tota.