‘BEDCO picks business ideas with potential’
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.