Connect with us

Business

Machine operator turned tombstones

Published

on

Youthful entrepreneur, Keabetswe Malope ventured into tombstone sales business after realising that there is an untapped opportunity in the market.

His company, Shingaboy Tombstones sells and distributes tombstones around Botswana. Malope told Business Trends that he started the business because he wanted to fill the market gap and create employment for other young people. Malope, who is a qualified heavy plant machine operator, has never been employed as a heavy plant machine operator.

He has instead worked as tombstone installer and marketer for a local tombstone company for a period of one year and started his own business in 2015. “When I was an employee, I discovered a lot of inefficiencies from local service providers so I took that as a business opportunity,” said Malope. Starting the business was not difficult for him. He was fortunate to have interacted with a supplier in his previous job, who told him that he did not need a lot of money to start up.

Malope started with one tombstone that he sold for P35 000 and within a month more customers were already placing orders. “My supplier in South Africa encouraged me to start my company but I had fears because I did not have enough money to run a company, but he kept telling me to register a company and then start marketing the products.

After a while he supplied me with stock which I paid for after selling,” he said. Shingaboy Tombstones currently has four employees. Malope said through marketing and advertising on Facebook, he has been able to receive many customers from various places. Although he is competing with more established undertakers and mortuaries that are well known, he has been able to penetrate the market within two years.

He has been operating from home and now has moved to an office in Gabane. “We don’t feel intimidated by the big mortuaries because we offer dignified scheme that is designed to help families cope with demand of a funeral and burial which also focuses on the needs of the bereaved families. “Prices start from P4 000 to P35 000 and we offer transport,” said Malope. Among the challenges that his company faces is lack of transport to carry stock from South Africa and to deliver across the country.

Continue Reading
Comments

Business

SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

Published

on

The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

Continue Reading

Business

‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

Published

on

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

Continue Reading

Trending