Local women entrepreneurs gathered to share their success stories in penetrating the international markets despite the challenges. Speaking during the Lionesses of Africa breakfast seminar hosted by Stanbic Bank Botswana, Sleek Food Founder and Director, Nkata Seleka said running a successful business does not require a lot of money to start but it requires ambition. Her company recently penetrated the international market by winning a tender to supply the Multinational Franchise, KFC with Chakalaka relish.
She started the company in 2010 and is currently operating from the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) Pilane Multi-Purpose Incubator. The company produces self-developed condiments, an assortment of relish, in different flavours made from locally produced vegetables. Seleka started selling her products at small events such as parties, family fun day events and individuals and later started to supply the local retailers such as Choppies, Sefalana, Spar and Pick & Pay. “I was so determined to grow this business.
I knocked on all these retail shops and never took a no for an answer. Retail was my start, my dream was to become the international brand,” she said. Founder of RH Diamonds, Rutang Moses said she has always dreamt of working in international organisations. After working for 13 years in various organisations she realised that she can own a company and work for herself.
She then registered her company last year. She said she chose the diamond sector because it is a sector which drives the economy of Botswana and it is mostly dominated by men. Through her company she wants to partner with international investors and also attract them to buy rough diamonds in Botswana.
“I have always dreamt of big things when I was young and I managed to penetrate the international job market and now I am working for myself and my company deals with international investors, everything is possible when you believe in yourself,” said Moses. Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Group Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Lesetedi said mentorship is important for any entrepreneur as many challenges exist on the way. “Mentorship and coaching is important as it will help you to focus and be disciplined and also be strong to face the challenges,” she said.
She grew up with dreams to do big things and she continues to believe that she can do big tasks and succeed. Lioness of Africa is an online platform where successful women entrepreneurs from across the African continent share their stories and encourage others to work hard to take their businesses to the international markets. Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said the bank is delighted to partner with Lionesses of Africa as they are committed to supporting women and ensuring that they take part in economic development.
“This is premised on the belief that we have a great wealth of talent in Botswana when it comes to women entrepreneurs, there is much to be done however in acknowledging, celebrating and empowering these women further,” she said. She said the bank continues to build on their existing efforts to support women including Women In Business Association (WIBA) through engagement with Lionesses of Africa.
Cell City rewards customers
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.
Smecha chillie hits the shelves
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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