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Modibedi to take his welding business outside Botswana

Keikantse Lesemela

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Local enterepreneur, Edson Modibedi aims to penetrate the regional market through artistic and quality products he produces from his small firm in Newstands Gaborone.

Modibedi started his registered his welding company, ET MOD Investments in 2013 which is currently trading as Classic Collection Club located at Newstands Council market. He manufactures tables, flower pots, garden chairs, wine rags, flower pots anther furniture.

He told the Business Trends that he believes his products can make it in the international market because he is highly skilled in design and produces the best products. “I am talented in design skills so my products are always unique and beautiful. They are always attractive to customers,” he said. He has worked as a welder for three years and this increased his skills and experience in the field.
Recently he got first prize at the Gaborone City Council’s mini show fair organised by the Poverty Eradication Unit. The City gave him the opportunity to showcase his products at the Consumer Fair at the end of August.

Currently he has two employees. Modibedi, who is a beneficiary of Poverty Eradication Program also wants to expand his small production to mass production. However, he is limited by equipment as he only uses manual equipment. “I need modern equipment which will enable me to speed up production and save time. The current machines are slow and this limits my production. I (also) want to export my products, ” he said.

Modibedi revealed to the Business Trends that Poverty Eradication Programme funding model contributes to low production and stunted growth of Small, Medium Macro Enterprises as they do not offer enough equipment required to start up the business. “They only provide few equipment which are not sufficient and this limits production levels. Even if we have submitted quotations of all the machinery we need they alter it but during the first application they do not give us the maximum amount they give,” said Modibedi.

The Poverty Eradication Programme is geared towards assisting Batswana to attain food and economic security, and at a minimum, sustainable livelihood among the disadvantaged individuals and families. The programme issues equipment worth between P35 000 to P45 000. Modibedi is currently designing a unique table with five legs using steel and rubber from car tyres. He is currently seeking funding from institutions to help him achieve his goals to produce in large quantities and supply big furniture shops locally and regionally. Currently his major clients are organizations and individuals.

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UN, De Beers launch programme for Women

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The most recent opportunity for women entrepreneurs is the United Nations (UN) and De Beers project – a three-year capacity-building programme to improve the livelihoods of more than 1,200 women micro-entrepreneurs in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Launched last month, the project is tailored specifically for each country, and is expected to be delivered with local implementation partners and focus on regions that have high levels of unemployment and where formal job opportunities are limited.

“Through these programmes, we hope to equip women entrepreneurs with the skills, training and confidence to build successful and sustainable businesses,” said Bruce Cleaver, Chief Executive Officer, De Beers Group. Cleaver believes the project will help prop up communities’ economic activities, as women are proven to reinvest more of their income back into the community and to actively support the creation of jobs for others.

According to De Beers Group the beneficiaries will be equipped with management skills to build confidence and capacity to operate and grow successful small businesses. Anne Shongwe, UN Women Representative, South Africa Multi-Country Office said the programme aims to complement national efforts on job creation and economic empowerment of women.

“Investing in women’s economic empowerment, particularly with women in the informal sector, sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth,” said Shongwe.

She further said investing in the capacity development of women micro-entrepreneurs leads to women having higher incomes, better access to and control over resources.

The programme is part of De Beers Group’s three-year partnership with UN Women, which includes a US$3 million investment to advance women and girls in De Beers Group’s diamond producing countries, announced in September last year. Over the past years women pioneers who have passionately grown local businesses include, Theresa Mokoka, renowned female farmer in Kweneng, Nkata Seleka, founder and owner of Sleek Foods, among others.

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Seed Co lists on the BSEL bourse

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Seed Co, the Africa-focused seed company has listed its shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) effective 5th October 2018. The shares for the Zimbabwean based company started trading on the same day.

“This is a primary listing by way of introduction of the issued share capital of Seed Co, comprising of 379,331,127 of ordinary shares on the main Board of the BSEL,” reads BSEL media statement. Seed Co is a leading certified seed company authorized to market seed varieties developed by itself, government and other associated seed breeders in over fifteen (15) African countries. The company is involved in the breeding, multiplication and distribution of mainly hybrid seed varieties.

In commenting on this milestone by Seed Co, the Chief Executive Officer of BSEL Thapelo Tsheole highlighted that, “this reinforces the value of listing companies on the exchange as this listing reiterates that for companies that wish to raise capital or increase visibility in the market, the stock exchange is the right avenue”. He further said BSEL is happy to welcome a company of Seed Co’s stature to the market.

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