Winner in this catagory, Rahab Inghalwa is a Namibian fashion model who used her understanding of the fashion business to launch Ravenda Posh in 2018 – the first retail fashion website owned by a young woman in Namibia.

Rahab’s website leads the way in an important sector of Namibia’s online presence by offering customers previously unaccustomed to online fashion commerce their first viable local option. 

Part of the attraction is that her website allows for ordering online and then paying upon collection, which goes a long way towards comforting a fledgling market concerned about the safety of online transactions.

TYI’s SADC Top 100 of 2019: Rahab Inghalwa, Innovators. Picture: Instagram

As part of her hands-on approach in building the business from scratch, Rahab took on the design of the website herself – along with the marketing, updates, sales, and product design, and all other aspects of the business; although she does note that the small yet strong circle of family and friends around her have been a major part of her success in getting started.

Through her ongoing input and innovation, Rahab has already developed a loyal customer base to whom she is extremely grateful. 

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Their feedback through dialogue, on top of their actual purchasing support, has been a significant tool for Ravenda Posh’s growth in a local market with few established guidelines. An additional benefit created in turn for the clients through that dialogue is a form of education in the new world of internet commerce. 

Rahab is no stranger to challenges in achieving her dream. Handling so much of the business activity herself while travelling a lot leads to tough situations like working on airplanes to ensure deliveries are carried out in time, or working late and over weekends to catch up on marketing or deal with stock delays – the latter of which she solved by opening an account with a local courier company.

TYI’s SADC Top 100 of 2019: Rahab Inghalwa, Innovators. Picture: Instagram

In the next few years, Rahab wants to create jobs for her fellow Namibians and lead by example – showing them that a “village kid” in Namibia can also enter the global market through the use of technology. In the process, she wants her online shop to become the best and preferred online shop of its kind in the SADC region. 

Speaking of the SADC region, Rahab would like to see its countries working closely together with solid business relationships in place and envisions herself working with the Namibian government to achieve affordable export rates within the region, as well as improved promotion of imports and support for young entrepreneurs.

While Rabab believes her fellow young Africans are on the path forward and have enormous potential, she also thinks it is important to remind them that it is up to them to continually redefine Africa – a task that will involve using the internet and social media to promote our beautiful Africa. 

In this endeavour, which sometimes requires challenging the status quo and standing up for what they believe in, she says she is 100% behind them.

TYI’s SADC Top 100 of 2019: Rahab Inghalwa, Innovators. Picture: Instagram