‘BEDCO picks busi­ness ideas with po­ten­tial’

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

THE Ba­sotho En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (BEDCO) says bud­ding busi­ness­peo­ple who want to ben­e­fit from the cor­po­ra­tion’s train­ing and in­cu­ba­tion pro­grammes need to come up with well-re­searched pro­pos­als.

This was said by BEDCO’S En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment Man­ager Abiel Mashale on Mon­day dur­ing the launch of a five-day busi­ness man­age­ment train­ing work­shop for 25 fe­male en­trepreneurs who will soon open a tex­tile fac­tory.

Dubbed, Unique Wo­man of Le­sotho, the group in­tends to man­u­fac­ture sheets, fleece and other tex­tile prod­ucts.

Mr Mashale said the train­ing work­shop was meant to equip the group mem­bers with the lead­er­ship and cor­po­rate gov­er­nance skills needed to run a suc­cess­ful busi­ness.

“We are fa­cil­i­tat­ing a train­ing ses­sion for a group of 25 women who came to­gether with the in­ten­tion of start­ing a tex­tile firm which will man­u­fac­ture sheets, bed linen and du­vets among other prod­ucts,” he said.

“We un­der­stand that all of the group mem­bers pre­vi­ously worked on their own be­fore com­ing to­gether for this ven­ture. They can sow and al­ready have tex­tile equip­ment.

“What the train­ing will im­part is the lead­er­ship and cor­po­rate gov­er­nance skills re­quired to sus­tain busi­nesses. The train­ing aims to equip them with skills that will en­able them to work to­gether.”

Mr Mashale said the group will un­dergo a three-year in­cu­ba­tion pro­gramme in which BEDCO would over­see the busi­ness’s growth.

“Many mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­pris- es (MSMES) of­ten col­lapse due to the ab­sence of fi­nance and the rel­e­vant mar­ket,” he said.

“We will con­tinue to pro­vide as­sis­tance through a three-year in­cu­ba­tion pro­gramme that sup­ports pro­duc­tion, of­fers av­enues for ac­cess to fi­nance and mar­ket­ing ser­vices.”

BEDCO, Mr Mashale said, teamed up with the Le­sotho Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Cor­pora- tion (LNDC) to of­fer the group space at one of the in­dus­trial fac­tory shells.the two agen­cies signed an agree­ment in June last year to col­lab­o­rate in de­vel­op­ing MSMES. Un­der the deal, fac­tory space would be pro­vided for MSMES that grow un­der BEDCO’S men­tor­ship.

“If the in­cu­ba­tion process is suc­cess­ful, the firm will then move to any of the fac­tory shells of­fered by LNDC. To be ac­com­mo­dated in the fac­tory shells, the busi­ness will have to demon­strate po­ten­tial to grow and be­come sus­tain­able,” he said.

“Their chances will also in­crease once the busi­ness records a growth that en­ables it to em­ploy more peo­ple.”

Mr Mashale also ad­vised busi­ness­peo­ple seek­ing as­sis­tance from BEDCO to present well-re­searched pro­pos­als.

“When se­lect­ing pro­pos­als for train­ing or in­cu­ba­tion pro­grammes, BEDCO only picks those that al­ready show po­ten­tial,” he said.

“Most ap­pli­cants usu­ally make the mistake of ap­proach­ing us to seek as­sis­tance in com­ing up with busi­ness plans. We don’t write busi­ness plans, in­stead, we chan­nel pro­pos­als with po­ten­tial in the right di­rec­tion.

“Our man­date at BEDCO is to es­tab­lish and de­velop Ba­sotho-owned busi­nesses. In ex­e­cut­ing that ob­jec­tive, we avoid wast­ing re­sources by pro­vid­ing train­ing to busi­nesses that may not make it through at the end of the day.”

A mem­ber of the group, ‘Mamokotjo Ser­abele, said they were look­ing to reap the ben­e­fits of high pro­duc­tion by join­ing forces.

“We re­alised that by work­ing in­di­vid­u­ally, we would con­tinue to strug­gle, hence the de­ci­sion to work to­gether,” she said.

“Our aim is to pro­duce high qual­ity prod­ucts that can be sold around the coun­try and be­yond.”

Some of the 25 bud­ding en­trepreneurs dur­ing the train­ing work­shop on mon­day.

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