Entrepreneurship project launched
THE second instalment of the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project was officially launched this week with a call for youths to develop creative and original business proposals.
In his address during the launch of the project in Maseru, Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) Acting Commissioner-general, Advocate Realeboha Mathaba said creativity and originality would help to ensure the proposals develop into concrete and bankable business models.
The Bacha Entrepreneurship Project is a collaborative effort by the LRA, Standard Lesotho Bank and Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation to stem escalating youth unemployment by capacitating young people with entrepreneurship skills.
In the project’s first installment, three youth-owned businesses impressed adjudicators to walk away with M500 000 start-up capital last August. Kemet Designs and Creations, Agro Organic and Shopa Lesotho were awarded M174 698.73, M165 575.00 and M159 725.40 respectively after their business proposals were deemed the most innovative and viable among the 20 in contention.
“With the launch that we are witnessing today, I wish to take this opportunity to appeal to young unemployed graduates between the ages of 21 to 35 to grab this oppor- tunity with both hands and follow their dreams. We will walk every step with them,” Advocate Mathaba said, adding that applicants should apply before the 14 March 2016 deadline.
“I urge them to tap into their innovative and originality skills and avoid the copycat mentality. They need to think outside the box as they develop their proposals.
“A business idea of your own is one that you will be able to follow through. But, if it is someone else’s, it will get lost along the way. We therefore call for creativity that goes along with sustainability and potential for job opportunities.”
Qualifying graduates must have completed their studies and not formally employed after attaining their qualifications. Proposals will not be limited to any particular area of interest or discipline, but selected only on merit based on viability, a strong business case and longevity.
Advocate Mathaba, who spoke on behalf of the three partners, also revealed that to date the winning ventures had created 10 job opportunities for other young people, although one of them was experiencing some viability challenges. He said they would ensure the projects were assisted to ensure they all stayed afloat.
“We remain committed to ensuring that these businesses achieve the objectives they were intended for,” said Advocate Mathaba.
One of the beneficiaries of the first phase, Shopa Lesotho Chief Executive Mpho Ramataboee, said Mr Ramataboee, said it was not easy to move from being previously unemployed to creating jobs for others, and they are counting on the continued support of the three partners to see them through.
Shopa Lesotho is an e-commerce company that operates a platform for both international and local buyers and sellers to exchange goods and services.
From left: BEDCO acting CEO Masechaba Mahlapha, LRA acting Commissioner-general Advocate realeboha Mathaba and Standard Lesotho Bank CEO Mpho Vumbukani during the launch ceremony on Tuesday.