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Queen Elizabeth II inspired hats a fashion craze locally

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Driven by the love for hats, Millinery Miller Founder and Director, youthful Keletso Lobelo realised that she can run a sustainable business and also share her skills with other people. She told the Business Trends that she started the business from her own resources assisted by her aunt.

“I basically had P9 000, it included the course that I took and to buy material. “But now the required fee would be P20 000 or more due to the material it’s expensive and the course fee has increased as well,” she said. She ventured into the millinery industry after noting Queen Elizabeth hats which she realised were unique and outstanding. Growing up she had always wanted to have the collection of hats with different styles.

She enrolled in fashion design course for three weeks before she registered her company. “ I ventured into this millinery industry after seeing Queen Elizabeth hats which I realised give women dignity and honour. “Soon after that I noticed that the millinery hat fashion was penetrating the market as a lot of women putting on the millinery hats at the Durban July horse Derby, Cape Town Derby in South Africa,” said Lobelo.

Lobelo studied Computerized Accounting (Pastel) and she is currently studying AAT. “With the gift of hand work am now able to design by looking at an outfit and know how it blends well with the full attire,” she said. Her major clients include Fashion Icons, bridal teams and church congregants. Her prices start from P250 for fascinators and P500 for hats depending on the designs and quality. Among the challenges she said market penetration is not easy as many people are not familiar with the new style of hats. “It’s not easy to penetrate the market because I am introducing a different style to Batswana.

Now I am working hard to convince them to buy,” said Lobelo. She markets her products through social media platforms and is able to reach more people through the mediums.She has participated in the Youth Business Expos, Miss Botswana 2015 fashion show she will also showcase her products at the 2017 Global Expo and Lao Glam fashion show in Namibia. In future she wants to own her millinery couture and manufacturing sinammay material that is used for millinery hats.

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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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