Winners of the FemBioBiz – Female in Bio-technology Businesses Programme Competition will get an opportunity to compete in the SA Innovation Summit start-up competition in Cape Town for a trip to Silicon Valley where they will stand a chance to win $1 million.
The four, Bame Rammala and Kamogelo Mmereki brains behind Antimicrobial Toilet Seat, Tlotlo Phuduhudu of Healthy Delights, Tuduetso Tebape of Nubian Seed and Bonolo Monthe of Maungo Craft, were selected from 10 finalists from the 47 applications across Botswana.
FemBioBiz, a programme by the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) exist in eight SADC countries; Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Innovation and Technology Director at BIH, Dr Budzanani Tacheba said the 2018 FemBioBiz Awards recognises women entrepreneurs who have developed or initiated innovations and inventions; women entrepreneurs who are growth oriented; women entrepreneurs who have early or mature innovations and have demonstrated social impact and; women postgraduate students who have viable innovative and entrepreneurial projects or initiatives.
According to Dr Tacheba, the awards were a culmination of tailor-made acceleration programme with a series of boot-camps, workshops and coaching sessions for finalists to assist them to scale up their business ventures and increase their value as leaders and role models in the community. BIH serves as a strategic partner for the implementation of the FemBioBiz Season Two Acceleration Programme Competition. Dr Tacheba further added that in addition to being hosted by the BIH Entrepreneurship Programme, winners would have access to the Hub’s three stages of Pre-incubation, Incubation and Acceleration.
“There are opportunities to proceed to further participate at a global start-up festival called SLUSH in Helsinki, Finland in November 2018.”The FemBioBiz programme also creates a platform for women to network and access regional and international markets, obtain business development skills and access financing.
Since inception, the Programme has received over 600 applications from 10 SADC member states and trained over 200 women with businesses that address the health and nutrition challenges of the SADC region. Partners Bame Rrammala and Kamogelo Mmereki are excited about the opportunity to meet potential investors and a chance to network with other women in bio businesses.
The duo, Biological Science and Bio Technology students at BUIST are developing antimicrobial toilet seats that will prevent contamination of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites on toilet seats.
Tlotlo Phuduhudu of Health Delights is grateful for the opportunity to represent Botswana at the Cape Town regional competition.“This is a great opportunity to raise awareness about our company and what we do,” she said. Healthy Delights produce animal feeds, and other animal products.
BIH’s Brand and Communications Manager, Kemiso Ben said, “By recognising the FemBioBiz winners, BIH remains committed to supporting women entrepreneurs leading Bio technology innovations that are financially sustainable and socially responsible. FemBioBiz competition continues to contribute to the local and regional economy, by seeking out courageous female entrepreneurs who continuously innovate sustainable solutions for present and future generations.”
OLOPENG HEAPS PRAISE ON BSE FINANCE CHALLENGE
Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.
The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.
He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.
The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.
“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.
The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.
WE ARE NOT USING DIAMONDS TO KILL ELEPHANTS, THAT’S HOGWASH! – BOTSWANA MINISTER
Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.
Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.
“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.
“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”
Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.
“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.
Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
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