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BUSANG BRANDING BUSINESS MAKES WAVES

Keikantse Lesemela

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Driven by the zeal to generate money and create employment for other youth, Gofaone Busang decided to be an entrepreneur, specializing in branding solutions and events management services.

She started a branding business last year Sepmeber with just 100 glasses to sell in her home village Sefhophe. When she realised the high demand for the brand she started branding T-shirts and bucket hats. The business offers branding solutions for corporates and individuals, branding various merchandise items including t-shirts, glasses, cups, pens and others. “I wanted to maximize the holiday season and make cash whilst having fun, so I started by branding 100 glasses to sell at my home village Sefophe.

The glasses were branded ‘FACT SEFOPHE ROCKS’ and they got sold out. I then expanded to branding t-shirts and bucket hats to sell,” said Busang. Busang is an Event Planner with an Associate Degree in Event Management from Limkokwing University. She graduated in 2016 but has never got a job. She has offered her professional services of events management in several corporates and community activities including Gabane Youth Business Pitso since inception in 2016.

“I offer events management consultancy services, protocol and etiquette services and training, I have been offered such training to Gabane Youth Business Pitso since its inception. I have also been able to brand ‘FACT GABANE ROCKS’ and exhibit at the annual Gabane Youth Business Pitso thanks to the support of the GBYP committee who continually contribute to what I do and ensure I get the platform to showcase what I do,” she said.

She said starting up was not difficult. She just started her fast growing business with a measly P700. 00 “I had just got paid for a billboard advertising gig I did for Stanbic Bank when I thought of the idea. So I invested to kickstart the business”. Although the market is saturated, Busang said she is able to beat competition by working hard and perserverance. Her major clients are the youth and individuals as they love the creative ideas and style. “I work with different youth who offer different services; graphic designers, printers, photographers,” she said.

In future, Busang said she is planning to have her own textile manufacturing factory and stop importing from China. “ In the next five years I hope to have my own place of operation, with own machinery and expand the business into other parts of the country thus creating more jobs for other youth. I want to have my own factory, manufacturing t-shirts, bucket hats and other products so that I stop importing from China,” she stressed. Busang currently has a new branding label for t-shirts called “Hustleprenuer”.

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‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

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Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

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MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

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