Bank prof­its, ven­dors told

Lesotho Times - - Business - Mamohlakola Le­tuka

THE Min­istry of Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing has urged ven­dors to bank their prof­its as part of mea­sures to grow their busi­nesses.

Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Direc­tor, Set­laba Mon­a­heng, made the call while ad­dress­ing a pub­lic gath­er­ing at Pitso Ground in Maseru yes­ter­day.

The gath­er­ing was held to share in­for­ma­tion on the dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered to ven­dors by com­pa­nies such as Lesotho Post Bank, Al­liance In­sur­ance and Ba­sotho En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (BEDCO).

“It is time we stopped call­ing you ‘street ven­dors’ and start call­ing you ‘small busi­ness own­ers’ be­cause of growth of your busi­ness,” Mr Mon­a­heng said, adding the min­istry was in the pro­cesses of build­ing us­able sheds for street ven­dors.

He said most ven­dors failed to achieve growth due to lack of in­for­ma­tion on how to man­age profit.

“We in­vited our part­ners to in­form ven­dors of the ser­vices that are tai­lored for them,” Mr Mon­a­heng said, adding ven­dors had to be equipped with skills to grow into busi­nesses that op­er­ated from com­mer­cial build­ings in­stead of the streets.

Mr Mon­a­heng said ven­dors were very im­por­tant to the coun­try’s econ­omy and with­out their ef­forts, the gov­ern­ment would be bur­dened with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of pro­vid­ing jobs which were al­ready scarce.

He ad­vised the ven­dors to in­sure their busi­nesses to avoid hav­ing to start all over in case of ac­ci­dents.

He said they needed to start think­ing be­yond the present mo­ment and start bank­ing for the fu­ture.

“Dif­fer­ent banks have com­plained that Ba­sotho are not fi­nan­cially in­cluded be­cause they do not bank.

“This is why most banks refuse to give them loans, which can help grow their busi­ness,” he said.

Tsolo Lebitsa, the Chair­per­son of Khathang-tema Baitšukuli thanked the min­istry for re­al­is­ing their im­por­tance to the econ­omy.

“Today we re­alise that our value is recog­nised; in the past we had been alone on this jour­ney but today marks part­ner­ship be­tween us and the min­istry,” Mr Lebitsa said.

He urged ven­dors to unite and build their sec­tor.

He said that their sheds needed to be up­graded to avoid dis­as­ters such as fire ac­ci­dents.

“Our sheds are made of flammable ma­te­ri­als such as plas­tics, boxes and wood, and if they catch fire it will not be eas­ily ex­tin­guished,” Mr Lebitsa said.

For his part, Thabiso Se­bak­iso, a busi­ness con­sul­tant at BEDCO, said they had a busi­ness in­cu­ba­tion plat­form where they pro­vided pro­fes­sional as­sis­tance to small busi­ness own­ers for a year.

He said they were work­ing on a pro­gramme to avail bank loans to small busi­ness own­ers who had busi­ness plans.

“We have held dif­fer­ent work­shops for ven­dors, es­pe­cially Khathang-tema and we have learned of new as­so­ci­a­tions that we will be work­ing with soon,” Mr Se­bak­iso said.

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