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Women make strides in business

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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.

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OLOPENG HEAPS PRAISE ON BSE FINANCE CHALLENGE

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Minister Thapelo Olopeng

Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.

The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.

He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.

The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.

“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.

The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.

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WE ARE NOT USING DIAMONDS TO KILL ELEPHANTS, THAT’S HOGWASH! – BOTSWANA MINISTER

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Orapa Mine, part of Debswana

Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.

Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.

“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.

“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”

Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.

“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.

Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
[Rough and Polished]

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