Botswana innovators get private sector support

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Financial services provider First National Bank Botswana has collaborated with Botswana Digital & Innovation Hub (BDIH) to spur innovation activities in the country.

“We acknowledge that innovation is a critical catalyst in driving Botswana’s transformation agenda, hence, supporting innovations requires collaborations between diverse stakeholders,” said Tshepo Tsheko, BDIH Acting Chief Executive Officer on Thursday.

The partnership was initiated to provide funding opportunities to eligible entities and encourage the participation of start-ups in solving new challenges posed by COVID-19.

Tsheko said the partnership with First National Bank Botswana is a step towards supporting the national innovation ecosystem with funding and market access opportunities.

Commenting on the partnership First National Bank Botswana Deputy Director of Marketing & Communications, Peo Porogo said the past 18 months have been difficult and entrepreneurs were not spared.

“It is initiatives like these that give them renewed hope as they strive to turn their ideas and businesses into successful entities. We are proud to be part of this life changing initiative,” said Porogo.

The first beneficiaries of the project are a cohort of 11 start-ups selected from a pool of start-ups within the BDIH Incubation and Acceleration Program.

The group benefitted from a number of interventions such as technical advice, coaching, mentorship, access to markets, access to partner programmes, office space, subsidised corporate tax, special dispensation of the import of skilled personnel and many other tailored interventions to help them grow.

The 11 innovative companies eventually participated in a pitch day adjudicated by a panel of experts in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and three companies emerged winners. Enditem

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