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Gaone Mabalane, perseverance embodied

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Driven by passion for business and love for children, young entrepreneur, Gaone Mabalane realised that she can create employment by taking care of children. She registered a business in 2014 and started operating a day care centre in February this year through the assistance of Youth Development Fund. Her school, Little Saviours Academy, enrols children from one to six years. It is located in Block 8 Suburb of Gaborone. In an interview with Business Trends, Mabalane said the school is an innovative solution that acts as virtual parents, broadening the children’s skills and enriching each child’s cognitive, social and spiritual development. The school is different from other Pre-Schools as it has combined the national Pre-primary curriculum framework combined with ABC Jesus Loves Me, which focuses on academic development and the Bible.

“My passion is to develop children at a young age, so I have constructed my programmes and learning experiences that will give children endless opportunities to learn and grow in six areas including nurturing creativity, developing lasting life skills, growing a healthy body, making new friends, building brain power and communicating with others,” said Mabalane. She wants to contribute to economic development through education. “I love children and I always want to train them and help them realise their potential at a young age.

Looking at unemployment rate I decided to turn this passion into a business concept,” said Mabalane. Starting up the business was not easy as she had no funds and all financial institutions believed that the business was not viable. She needed more than P200 000 to start-up but she was only funded for P100 000, however, she managed to do other projects including the upgrading of infrastructure. Although several institutions and regulators including Gaborone City Council and Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development rejected her, Mabalane was determined to see her business operating so she persisted and never got discouraged. “It was not an easy path for me to arrive at this stage.

I was consistently rejected by youth funders and the city council also refused to grant me the license. I had to go through courts, lost cases and I appealed and finally got approved. Starting up a business is not easy, it takes courage and faith,” she said. Currently, she has enrolled 10 students and employed two people. She will employ up to five teachers when students enrolment increases. The school is licensed to enrol 50 students and has a ratio of 10 students per teacher. School fees are offered at an affordable price of P3600 per term or at an instalment of P1200 every month.

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Engen profit goes up

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Engen Botswana, the only listed petroleum company is expecting better results for the six months to June 2018 as a result of favourable trading environment. For the six months period to June 2017, the company made a profit of P55,2 million.

Engen, which supplies petroleum products to retail and institutional clients said, compared to the same period in 2017, profits will be higher on the backdrop of rising international crude oil prices. According to available data, oil prices jumped by 20 percent in the first six months of the year to close at $73 per barrel. Yesterday (Tuesday), oil prices were hovering at $77 per barrel.

The firm, like its peers has also been bolstered by government decision to hike petroleum prices in May. Petrol went up by 23 thebe, 45 thebe for diesel and 38 thebe for paraffin, all per litre. Eric Molale, the minister responsible for petroleum products in the country did not rule out any price increase in the foreseeable future on the backdrop of rising international oil prices.

Local users of petroleum products are not even saved by the fact that the National Petroleum Fund-which cushions customers against increasing oil prices, is fast running dry due to alleged misappropriation by those tasked with maintaining it (the Fund).

Meanwhile, Engen which is headed by Chimweta Moonga has told its shareholders that results will be out before this month ends. “Therefore shareholders are advised to exercise caution when trading in the group securities until such time as a detailed announcement is made,” said a statement from the BSE listed firm.

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Graduates urged to be innovative

Keikantse Lesemela

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Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) President, Verily Molatedi has urged graduates to look beyond job seeking and come up with creative and innovative ways to create employment and contribute to economic development.

This Monday, over 400 students graduated from Imperial School of Business and Science (ISBS) from different fields including business management, Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), finance and banking, human resource management, tourism and hospitality management and advertising. The ceremony was the first batch of students who completed degree programmes in ISBS.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Molatedi said the 21st century is awash with many opportunities and challenges but it is only the optimistic that can rise above and turn challenges into opportunities. “I therefore urge all graduates to acknowledge and take advantage of the government efforts in providing facilities beyond tertiary education and contribute towards economic diversification. To this end some of you may have to be entrepreneurs,” said Molatedi.

Molatedi explained that with over 10 000 graduates annually produced in tertiary institutions, graduates must continually build their skills and think innovatively and create their own brands as this will increase their chances of employability globally.

“Employability is about making sure that you diversify your skills, get knowledge for the industry. It is the key to realizing our economic diversification agenda, and hinges on your availability to be enablers in the country’s present and future economy,” said Molatedi.

Imperial School of Business and Science Director, Nidheesh Sharma said graduates have unique professional identity and a set of values and beliefs that will allow them to continue their quest for lifelong learning and distinguish themselves in their chosen paths as the faculties offered are globally recognized.

“Previously we have had many students completing certificates and diploma programmes but this is the first batch to have completed degree programmes. Graduating annually, young professionals were imparted with the knowledge and skills that are required by the regional and global job market,” said Sharma.

Sharma highlighted that ISBS started in 2003 as a BOTA registered institute and in 2011 it registered with Tertiary Education Council (TEC) and started offering Diploma and Advanced Diploma Programmes. “In 2013, the school re-branded from its old name to current name, ISBS. In 2015, ISBS was awarded best upcoming Institution by HRDC and in 2018 HRDC put us in the top three of Private Colleges,” he said.

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