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Bliss Kids Party Décor ready to captivate market

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The passion for events and décor has driven Leungo Kgogwane to establish Bliss Kids Party Décor Company, which now serves as a means of income and has created employment for other young people.

The company provides décor services for children’s birthday parties, graduations and other special occasions. Her main targets are parents and children from one year to 14 years. She also provides services to those beyond these ages if requested. In an interview with Sun Business, Kgogwane said she ventured into the business because she saw the market gap and wanted to provide memorable events for children.

“Nowadays parents want to give their children memorable parties but do not have time to plan the event or are not creative enough to organise such a party. “Since I have always been passionate about décor and events set-up and also love kids I decided to start up this business,” she said. She started the business out of her personal savings.

“Because I was so determined to operate this business, I was not limited by the lack of funds, I just started with the little money I had. I started with P6000.00 which was not enough to start a business and I then decided to out-source some services,” said Kgogwane. Among the challenges she faces are that décor changes a lot so she has learnt to be alert all the time and keep pace with trends in and out of the kiddies’ world.

“I am eager to learn new things every day. I have also learnt to be patient and to endure. The business is also seasonal because in winter we have few clients and summer our clientele increases. Since most of our services are needed on weekends we often get between P4000 –P6000 monthly,” she said. She is currently working with two young people. Kgogwane said her plan is to expand the business beyond being exclusively for décor but to embrace the entire kiddies’ entertainment and become the best in the industry.

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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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