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Ginger brewer prioritises customer satisfaction

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Though very new in the market, Imbir Homemade Ginger is already making an impact as its branding and bar coding allows it to be sold in retails stores, something that hinders local products’ entry into the retail market. Kealeboga Moleele of Imbir Homemade Ginger operates from Lenganeng in Tlokweng and tells Business Trends that the feedback that she has received so far in relation to her product is positive. “I started this business in 2017 and the feedback is excellent so far. I appreciate it and I am willing to match the demand. It is actually not how fast you build the house but how firm and strong it is, so I try my level best to be consistent in order to attract my customers,” said Moleele.

She notes that traditional brewed ginger drink has always been made in homes from way back; however, no one is available to provide it to households that may need it on a daily basis. Her regular customers include different individuals, wedding ceremonies, funerals and those who buy direct to the market through distributors once capacity to supply has been built. Moleele explains that her ginger drink is preservative free and she uses ginger, water, sugar and other products to give it its unique taste. Asked what really sets her apart from all other ginger traders in town, she swears she lives by the phrase ‘customer satisfaction’ to make sure that her clients are always happy. “I believe in standing out and investing in customer satisfaction. Therefore my service delivery is what I value before anything. I don’t compromise on quality but sell as a brand,” she said.

She further said that she chose ginger drink business to also embrace culture as it is a traditionally, amazingly refreshing drink enjoyed by both the young and the old. “A regular customer, Peggy Dipheko agreed that the drink is totally refreshing. “It has the right amount of ingredients and it is a thirst quencher that is always enjoyed chilled,” she said. Moleele supply her drinks in a variety of bottles including; 500ml, 1.5l and 2l depending on the order of her customers. Moleele says that she is a firm believer and thankful to God because He is the reason why she has the wisdom for her business that sustains her. She aspires to grow further in this business and employ as many people as possible while distributing her products across the country and beyond borders. She encouraged other business people to be competitive at all times and strive to be the best in their business.

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‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

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Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

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MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

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