The advent of social media opened Mautsu’s eyes to a sea of opportunities to explore innovative solutions for creating employment in the areas of photography and publications.
Social Light is a media management company that specialises in creating targeted social media marketing, increasing brand recognition; improving brand loyalty, conversion, richer customer experiences, humanisation of brands and analysed feedback.
“We work across different social media platforms including, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn,” says Mautsu.The 23-year -old Mautsu started exploring and testing his ideas while studying at the Botswana Accountancy College, where he was involved in voluntary work.
He was looking for something very challenging, a brand that could be accessed anywhere in the world. Mautsu started developing his portfolio project for Social Light in May 2014 through voluntary work. He has never received any external funding.
Mautsu who is also the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) Finance and Business representative for Small Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs), has three employees and he takes time to educate them about the product. Social Light spearheads new marketing in Africa by providing globally competitive services at affordable prices.
It has so far developed social networks and provided services to key industry stakeholders among others Maitisong Festival, Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), Chain Reaction, Soul Food Comedy and Cappello.
Mautsu believes that it is wonderful to sell to customers who have had prior experience with a brand. They streamline content and create social media presence as well as increase digital exposure by focusing on quality over quantity, he said. “Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. We are able to fulfil this objective by continuous immersion in research as well as observing, documenting and analysing trends and this increases brand recognition,” says Mautsu.
Research shows that there were 403 803 internet users in Botswana as of December 31, 2014, representing 18.5 percent of the population. Against this background Social Light intends to deliver tailor made marketing to these users specifically designed for their brand, events, products and services. “Through our wealth of experience, we can help you get your business to the right audiences anywhere in the world,” he said.
Mautsu believes that the services they offer can take many organisations to the next level of business. “There is nothing better than having customers becoming the voice of your brand. Make your brand appeal to the human side of your customers. Engage in conversation so they feel valued and give them a rich customer experience.”
He says they have medium to large clientelle and they are able to keep a successful customer base by continuous development in quality service and building of relationships.
“We also take care of our clients by educating them because they are key to our organisation and they need to have knowledge,” Mautsu said they connect the brand directly to the consumer; ensuring more value per marketing spend and an increase in effective consumer engagement. For the next ten years, Social Light sees itself being a global competitor, creating more jobs, and working with international companies.
‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’
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
MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH
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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