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Motswana furniture manufacturer in Kanye aims high

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Kefentse Baitshoki was inspired to start his own company, Baitshoki Investments, and create employment for other youths in Kanye after working as a furniture manufacturer for four years. Baitshoki, 33, told Sun Business that he started the furniture manufacturing company because he wanted to use his skills to meet people’s needs and also create employment. The company specialises in manufacturing couches, slay beds, car seats and upholstery.

He also repairs damaged furniture and car seats. Baitshoki was motivated by his experience gained in working for a furniture manufacturing company. “I was employed as a furniture manufacturer and through the skills and knowledge I acquired I realised that I can also do this business and create employment for other young people and contribute to economic development,” he said.

He acquired business skills through training at Local Enterprise Authority (LEA). “I enrolled in LEA training in 2012 when I was still working with my friend who was also running a business”. He started the business using his own personal savings. “The business required a lot of money to start but I was so determined and could not see lack of funding as an impediment to start, so I used the little money I had to buy the manufacturing equipment,” he said. While still doing business, he applied for Youth Development Fund and was funded to the tune of P100 000.00 to boost the business.

Currently he has five employees. Baitshoki says the business is doing well and the demand for furniture is very high but he is limited by low production capacity. His major clients are the corporate sector and government. “The market demand is very high. The problem is I have little capital which does not allow me to beat my competitors because of less production,” he said. To expand the business Baitshoki said he needs the industrial machines to increase production capacity. “Currently we are using small machines.

The big machines will help us increase the speed of production and will be able to manufacture more furniture,” he said. He is determined to grow the business beyond its current market in order to penetrate the national market. “I see the business being the supplier of other furniture shops countrywide, as our major service is manufacturing. I want to approach CEDA to seek more funding,” said Baitshoki.

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Cell City rewards customers

Keikantse Lesemela

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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.

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Smecha chillie hits the shelves

Keikantse Lesemela

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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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