Workshop spotlights business skills
enterprises.this was said by Association of Lesotho Employers and Business (ALEB) Chief Executive Advocate Lindiwe Sephomolo during a business management skills workshop in which 25 micro and small-sized entrepreneurs underwent training.
The three-day workshop, which ended yesterday was organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in conjunction with ALEB with the intention of equipping the entrepreneurs with business management skills.
Among the topics learned during the workshop were principles of marketing, costing and pricing as well as record keeping under the Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) progamme of the ILO.
Adv Sephomolo said many small-sized entrepreneurs failed to develop their businesses due to lack of basic business management skills.
“This training was informed by a financial inclusion study on small and medium enterprises we conducted, which showed that most of our small businesses lacked some basic business management skills,” she said.
ALEB, Adv Sephomolo said, then approached the ILO for support in bringing the consultants to help with the skills training.
She said the three-day training also featured representatives of local financial institutions to assist the trainees in financial management.
“We also introduced them to the basics of the labour law as we have observed that most employees know very little about it and only start looking for legal advice when they have a case to answer for,” Adv Sephomolo added.
The facilitator of the training, Sibongile Sibanda, said financial management and marketing were the most troublesome areas for small businesses.
“Many businesses at this level fail by just not keeping records. They don’t keep records of how much they sold last time, they don’t know whether they are selling more and therefore don’t know whether the business is growing or not. Record-keeping benefits the business and makes a world of difference,” she said.
“Costs are also a major challenge businesses at this level face. In most cases, they just look at the prices their neighbour is charging and adapt them as their own without understanding the reasons.”
Ms Sibanda said they emphasized to the trainees the need for operational costs to inform the prices of their goods and services.
“That way, they will also be able to con- trol their expenditures and not just spend because it has an implication on the profitability of the business,” she said.
“Ultimately we are looking at increasing their profitability with this training by applying business management in their businesses.”
One of the trainees, Daniel Monyaesa, who runs a micro enterprise called Reliable ICT Solutions told the Lesotho Times the workshop opened his eyes to business aspects he hitherto took for granted.
“I was especially intrigued by learning about marketing research. It will help me to go back to my clients and find out the challenges they may have and then device solutions on how to help them,” Mr Monyaesa said, adding the input from prospective clients would help him build a software programme to address the needs of the ICT market.
aleb chief executive advocate Lindiwe sephomolo.