Women Entrepreneurship in Bio-sciences Is Critical – Dr Gloria Somolekae

By Calviniah Kgautlhe

 Women have been encouraged to participate in bio sciences in order to produce cutting edge technology that could add economic value to the lives of people.

gloria bio sciences

This was said by Botswana Innovation Hub board chairperson, Dr Gloria Somolekae during the Female in Bio-sciences Businesses (FemBioBiz) awards on August 23, where four women were awarded for their innovative entrepreneurship in bio-sciences.

Awarding the four women under the Innovation Hub FemBioBiz Programme in collaboration with SANBio, Dr Somolekae said the awards were targeted at addressing the gender gap in leadership positions in the bioscience field-based businesses.

Dr Somolekae said SANBio had made the programme regional with footprints in eight Southern African Development Community member countries such as Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

She said the aim was to impart leadership and entrepreneurship skills to females in these countries in order to provide a stimulus for women to improve their businesses and set up best practices for other women to learn from.

Moreover, Dr Somolekae said the bioscience scope fitted within the innovation hub’s focus area of biotechnology. The sector, she said, focused on catalysing more research and development activities, and commercial business in the areas of testing and manufacturing with special emphasis on addressing cross cutting issues of food security, HIV/AIDS and exploitation of a wide range of indigenous natural products. She noted that the finalists produced organic, indigenous and Eco-friendly products, adding that their businesses presented potential growth and employment creation.

For his part, the director of Technology and Innovation, Dr Budzanani Tacheba posited that the FemBioBiz awards were meant to recognise the successes of women leaders in business. He said the FemBioBiz programme was a collaboration between SANBio and the Innovation Hub and that they scouted for female entrepreneurs with innovative solutions in bio sciences and natural products.

Dr Tacheba divulged that an acceleration programme which comprised of boot-camps, workshops and coaching sessions was implemented to assist them to build their business portfolios.

Those who made it to the top four, he said, were Botswana International University of Science and Technology students Ms Bame Rrammala, Ms Tuduetso Tebape, Ms Tlotlo Phuduhudu and Ms Bonolo Monthe.

He disclosed that the winners would compete in the South Africa Innovation summit start-up competition where those who made it would embark on a trip to Silicon Valley where they would stand a chance to win US$1million.

He said the winner would also have the opportunity to participate at a global start-up SLUSH festival in Helsinki, Finland, in November.

Source: allafrica.com

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