LNDC, BEDCO ink part­ner­ship deal

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

THE Le­sotho Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (LNDC) and Ba­sotho En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (BEDCO) have forged a part­ner­ship to co­or­di­nate the ini­ti­a­tion, pro­mo­tion and de­vel­op­ment of mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises (MSMES).

The part­ner­ship was sealed by a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) signed on Tues­day by LNDC CEO Kele­bone Leisanyane and his BEDCO coun­ter­part, Robert Likhang, in Maseru.

Among oth­ers, the ob­jec­tives of the five-year MOU are to en­hance the shar­ing of re­search in­for­ma­tion and build­ing tech­ni­cal ca­pac­ity of BEDCO to ef­fec­tively de­liver on its man­date.

The agree­ment en­ables MSMES sup­ported, mon­i­tored and men­tored by BEDCO to have ac­cess to LNDC de­vel­op­ment fi­nance ser­vices.

It also en­sures co­or­di­nated ef­forts in build­ing the skills ca­pac­ity of per­son­nel in­volved in en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Leisanyane, the LNDC will de­velop 250x500 square me­tres of its Tikoe In­dus­trial Area for lo­cal busi­nesses un­der the tute­lage of BEDCO.

“Be­sides the work on the al­most fin­ished build­ing at Tikoe In­dus­trial Area, which is to be used for for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment and do­mes­tic pur­poses, we have re­served space of 250x500 square me­tres which will be de­vel­oped for in­cu­bat­ing lo­cal busi­nesses that have out­grown their ca­pac­ity at BEDCO,” said Mr Leisanyane.

He added that the MOU marked a mile­stone that would see the two or­gan­i­sa­tions en­joy mu­tual ben­e­fits ac­crued from their part­ner­ship de­spite be­ing un­der the purview of dif­fer­ent min­istries.

The Min­istry of Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing came about fol­low­ing a split of the for­mer Min­istry of Trade, In­dus­try, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing.

The LNDC falls un­der the new Trade and In­dus­try min­istry while BEDCO is un­der the Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing min­istry.

“The di­vi­sion of the for­mer Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing into two sep­a­rate min­istries was not meant to de­ter us from work­ing to­gether as busi­ness-ori­ented or­gan­i­sa­tions, but to en­cour­age joint work­man­ship to­wards serv­ing the Ba­sotho na­tion,” noted Mr Leisanyane.

“The LNDC Par­tial Credit Guar­an­tee scheme as well as the eq­uity fi­nanc­ing, that will soon be made avail­able, will ben­e­fit BEDCO clients who can ac­cess loans not ex­ceed­ing M200 000 through any lo­cal bank.

“The part­ner­ship will en­sure that the skills and knowl­edge small busi­nesses have gained from BEDCO would be backed up fi­nan­cially.”

In his re­marks, Mr Likhang said the part­ner­ship would mu­tu­ally ben­e­fit small and large busi­nesses alike due to the co­or­di­nated ef­forts.

“We are thank­ful to the LNDC for this part­ner­ship which will not only help us get bet­ter with our work, but has es­tab­lished a link­age be­tween mi­cro busi­nesses that will now get as­sis­tance to grow into medium and large busi­nesses,” he said.

“For a long time, small busi­nesses have ex­pe­ri­enced chal­lenges that have hin­dered them from reach­ing their full po­ten­tial. That is why it was im­por­tant for us to come up with a bet­ter ap­proach. With this part­ner­ship with the LNDC, we will con­tin­u­ously be seek­ing new in­ter­ven­tions that would ben­e­fit lo­cal busi­nesses.”

Mr Likhang added that they in­tent to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment and lo­cal busi­nesses part­ner in shar­ing skills and value ad­di­tion.

“We have noted that among the rea­sons for­eign in­vestors have of­ten been re­luc­tant to come on board was be­cause small busi­nesses lacked ca­pac­ity,” he said.

“How­ever, by virtue of BEDCO and LNDC be­ing agen­cies of the two min­istries, we hope to ask our re­spec­tive min­istries to set up poli­cies that would ef­fect such re­la­tion­ships.”

LNDC CEO Kele­bone Leisanyane (left) and his BEDCO coun­ter­part Robert Likhang shake to the deal on Tues­day in Maseru.

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