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Computer engineer makes fashion accessories to survive

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Five years after waiting to employed, Crafts Café founder, Boikhutso Salang transformed her hobby into a sustainable business venture. She designs and manufactures handbags, bracelets, neckpieces, peplum belts and other fashion accessories with an African print material. She started the business in 2015. In an interview with Business Trends, Salang, 31, explained that growing up, crafts and sewing were her passion but she never thought it could become her job. She has a degree in Computer Engineering and Software Development.

“I am somebody who likes handiwork, I always look for something I can do, so sewing and designing was my hobby when I was growing up. I never thought it can be my job, so I studied computer engineering and hoped I would find a job in this field,” said Salang. She said with the high unemployment rate in the country she realised that she has to find the means of making money to sustain herself. She started the business with the little money from her pocket as it was not easy to get funding. “I started the business with just P2500. 00.

Although I applied for the Youth Development Fund in 2015 but they never gave me a response so I just started with what I had,” she said.She said the business is doing well and she would not leave it for any job as she is now following her passion. She is currently operating from home in Broadhurst. She uses social media platforms like Facebook to market her products. Prices range from P100 to P300 depending on the product and the sizeAmong the challenges she is limited by lack of machinery as she currently has one sewing machine, “I want to make more products and diversify from just small accessories and make fashionable clothes,” she said.She uses some of the off-cuts from tailors.

“I buy a bag of off-cuts but this is not enough because the pieces are small so it takes a lot of time to join them. If I had enough money, I could buy a lot of fabrics that will enable me to do a lot of products,” said Salang.

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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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