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Letshego expands to Nigeria

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Letshego Holdings Limited, the Africa-focused micro lending and deposit-taking group has acquired a 100 percent shareholding in FBN Microfinance Bank (FBN MFB) from its parent, FBN Holdings plc.

The latest acquisition is yet another advancement, which will in the long run ensure the group is an integrated pan-African financial group, which controls a sizeable share of the market.

The acquisition of FBN MFB marks Letshego’s entry into West Africa, having successfully built a footprint across East and Southern Africa with 265,000 customers across nine countries.

This development brings Letshego’s footprint to ten countries, with a customer base of over 385,000; Nigeria, in particular, has been a key target market in Letshego’s diversification plans. “As the leading indigenous BSE-company by market capitalisation and profitability, it is an exciting time for us at Letshego.

This opportunity to enter the Nigerian market coincides with the expansion of our range of financially inclusive products and services,” said Letshego’s Managing Director, Chris Low. FBN MFB was established in 2009 and is one of only six microfinance banks in Nigeria to have been awarded a national microfinance banking licence.

Currently, FBN MFB has 28 branches and over 300 team members. Its core business is lending, savings and transactional financial services to micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

With over 80,000 depositors and over 10,000 MSE borrowing customers, the bank’s operations are directly aligned to Letshego’s financial inclusion agenda. Letshego brings its expertise in payroll deduction lending in the public and private sector as well as in micro and small enterprises, with a focus on agriculture, education and health sectors.  FBN MFB will rebrand to Letshego MFB.

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ADB grants BDC P4m for capacity building

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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BDC head of human capital, Thabile Moipolai

African Development Bank has granted Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) over P4 million for training and capacity building of its staff members, the latter’s Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe has disclosed.

The grant, which is $400,000 could not have come at a better time for BDC which has just begun a foray into the African continent. According to the Head of Human Capital at the investment arm of government, Thabile Moipolai, the grant will be used in areas such as investment, legal and risk, the three divisions which are considered critical as they continue to push the five -year strategy.

BDC has been given the leeway to invest outside Botswana and already some investments are being made in West Africa. Capacitating the staff in the above areas will come in handy for the African expansion.

Moipolai was answering a question from The Midweek Sun on Friday during the company’s annual stakeholder briefing where operational and financial reports for 2017/2018 were made public. The grant will be utilised in the next two years. BDC has reiterated its plan to continue to invest initiatives which are aimed at developing and retaining staff members.

“As we continue to build a strong BDC for the future, continuous learning and development is critical for our business success and therefore remains a priority area for Human Capital,” BDC 2017 annual report reads.

BDC has also developed a future focused competency based training that will be used to make informed learning and development decisions. “The (BDC) academy will also help BDC produce future leaders that are fluid and progressive through a bespoke leadership development,” reads the report.

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KBL announces return of Kickstart program

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Previous kickstart beneficiaries

Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, a unit of Sechaba has announced the return of Kickstart, a youth entrepreneurial development program that was suspended three years due to lack of financial resources, Managing Director, Renaud Beauchamp has told the media.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. According to Beauchamp, the revamped Kickstart will start next year, with an annual budget of about P1, 5 million. “We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that, they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent. The clear beer price reduction comes after the Alcohol Levy, which made beer expensive, was slashed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime some few months ago.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment has announced changes in trading hours for businesses that trade with liquor.

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