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Women furniture manufacturers take industry by storm

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Three young ladies, Ntebaleng Shatani, Kamogelo Order and Marriam Moloi formed a joint business to utilise their skills and create employment for other young people. Their company Super Ideas (Pty) Ltd specialises in manufacturing and maintenance of couches, sofas, chest of drawers, coffee tables and other furniture. They also repair damaged furniture. In an interview with the Business Trends, Shatani said they started the business because they had passion for running a business and they wanted something to do to earn a living because they were not working.

They started operating in February last year and they are based in Pilane. “The three of us had passion for business and it was at the time we were not working. We agreed that we will use skills we have to start up a business. I had business skills, another tailoring and the other carpentry skills,” said Shatani They were also inspired by other women succeeding in business. It was not difficult for them to start the furniture manufacturing business as they had worked in an upholstery shop and a tailor workshop. “We have the knowledge and experience of furniture manufacturing. Operating this joint business is very easy because each one has her skills required in manufacturing these products. Kamogelo and I worked for 10 months in upholstery shop while Marriam worked for three years as a tailor,” said Shatani. Shatani has a degree in Broadcasting and Journalism while Moloi and Order have Junior Certificates.

They were funded by Gender Affairs to the tune of P270 000.In the first year of operation they have realised that the market is still very good as there is high demand of furniture. “Many Batswana are continually buying furniture as they build new house and renovating. We are working hard to take our business to the next level and grow it,” she said. They are currently producing and selling in their shop in Pilane but they are planning to supply offices and shops this year. They are working as a team of four and they are planning to increase their team with men this year.

Among the challenges she said, is that sometimes the work is heavy as they are all ladies and they are the ones cutting wood and doing all the manufacturing work. Shatani said they are optimistic about their business and see themselves running a big furniture production company that will create jobs for Batswana. “We also want to expand our footprint and have more furniture shops around Botswana,” she said.

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BSE complies with reporting guidelines

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Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has become the 5th bourse in Africa to comply and publish Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting guidelines.

The development comes a year after BSEL became a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative.“The BSE made a commitment to publish guidance on ESG Reporting. This commitment has been fulfilled.“

We are the 42nd among the 81 SSE Partner Exchanges globally and the 5th in Africa to do this,” said Kgotla Segwe, Market Development Specialist at Botswana Stock Exchange Limited.
Other stock exchanges that have complied with the SSE initiative on the continent are from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.

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Mobile operators look to digital inclusion

Keikantse Lesemela

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Mascom MD Jose Couciero.

Mascom Chief Executive, Jose Couciero said they are looking into digital inclusion as the potential source of revenue growth because mobile subscription is no longer a major driver.

Botswana has one of the highest records of mobile penetration in Africa at 176 percent, Internet users’ stand at 21.4 percent while the fixed line telephony services stand at 8.2 percent. “As the Botswana mobile market evolves, we observe that mobile subscriber growth alone is no longer a major driver for revenue growth. Rather, the potential for the market is in digital inclusion through access to mobile and fixed broadband,” Couciero.

He said they have invested significantly in deploying their own transmission backbone and Metropolitan fibre rings to prepare their business to enter the residential markets with bundle offers of Internet, voice and content. “I am excited to confirm that we now offer fixed broadband services using both fibre and 4.5G wireless technology. These technologies offer high speed internet for TV live streaming and online games without interruptions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government owned Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) observed the increased usage of social media platforms which has negatively affected the traditional voice call services resulting in decreased turnover for the company. Recently, BTCL Managing Director, Anthony Masunga also highlighted that competition in the telecommunications sector continued to intensify with the entry of new internet service providers leading to a downward pressure on prices.

On the other hand, another competitor, Orange Botswana is currently constructing a data centre which will enable the company to offer telecommunication and internet services without interruptions. The Orange Data Centre will cover 81% of the population with the 2G technology, 62% of the population with 3G technology and 45% of the population with 4G technology, offering the greater levels of security, flexibility and accessibility to data and information around the world.

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