After completing her Networking and Infrastructure Management Degree, the youthful and creative, Lapologang Semong decided to use her cooking talent to earn a living and create employment for other youth.
Semong told the Business Trends that she registered her company, Purple Petals Investments in 2016 after operating as a street vendor for one month.
She runs a Gabane based catering business, which supplies to corporates, social events, individuals and weddings.
“After graduating and realizing that it was difficult to get a job I started cooking and selling food as a street vendor. Most people liked my food because I am talented then they began to recommend me to cater for their events and I realized that I could operate a formal catering business,” said Semong. She offers various menus including breakfast, lunch and dinner.She said starting up was not a big challenge as she only had to buy some catering equipments using her personal funds.
“I never looked for funding anywhere because I wanted to test the market before I could approach any financial institution.”She said there is a lot of potential in the market and she wants to expand the business and increase her supplies capacity.
She has catered for national events including the State of the Nation address on which she supplied breakfast and other large government and private institutions. “I have now penetrated the market and I want to increase my supply capacity. I have supplied to about 200 people and I want to grow from that but this needs more hands on and equipment,” she said. Currently she is working with a team of four people.
Cell City rewards customers
Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.
In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.
All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.
“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.
“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.
Smecha chillie hits the shelves
For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.
She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.
She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae
The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.
She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.
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