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Thato Mahube wins Orange Bonatla le Botswerere challenge

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Thato Mahube of Amazing Services is this year’s winner of the Orange Botswana’s Bonatla le Botswerere Women’s Challenge. Amazing Services, a 100 percent Botswana owned company founded by Thato Mahube was crowned winner last Friday.

The WIBA affiliated company provides communications solutions and wellness events management. The winning product is an A4 sized leather folder which doubles as a card holder and diary, offering complete convenience of holding all the necessary valuables in one folder.

The competition, an initiative of Orange Foundation was launched in July and closed in September 2015. It has been running for the fifth consecutive year. The Bonatla le Botswerere Women in Business Corporate Gift Challenge, targets all women entrepreneurs and SMMEs.

The competition’s primary objective is to provide local women an opportunity to design and produce corporate gifts, which Orange then buys in bulk for its stakeholders. Orange has specifically reserved a budget of P100, 000 to buy the gifts from Amazing Services.

This initiative is one of Orange’s many women empowerment initiatives aimed at boosting women SMMEs, given the challenges that they face as small businesses operating in the country.  In addition to the P100 000 worth of supplies to Orange, Amazing Services will get additional benefits.

“Her company gets to enjoy free opportunities to exhibit her products at different platforms facilitated by Orange Foundation. So this is a great opportunity for women such as Mahube who are trying to grow their businesses and penetrate the market,” says Orange PR and Foundation Manager Boga Chilinde-Masebu. 

Since the beginning of the initiative in 2012, over 100 candidates from all over Botswana have participated, with 52 entries having been received for this year’s competition alone. These are women involved in different areas such as arts and crafts, fashion design, textiles, bakery, body and beauty, food and beverages, upholstery and linen making.

According to Chilinde-Masebu, the 52 submitted proposals went through an internal evaluation process to select the winner. “The main focus points for evaluation criteria covered among others; creativity, innovation, craftsmanship, usefulness of the proposed product and durability. The fundamental selection criterion was based on the applicant ability to demonstrate that they manufacture or make the products themselves,” she says.

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ADB grants BDC P4m for capacity building

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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BDC head of human capital, Thabile Moipolai

African Development Bank has granted Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) over P4 million for training and capacity building of its staff members, the latter’s Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe has disclosed.

The grant, which is $400,000 could not have come at a better time for BDC which has just begun a foray into the African continent. According to the Head of Human Capital at the investment arm of government, Thabile Moipolai, the grant will be used in areas such as investment, legal and risk, the three divisions which are considered critical as they continue to push the five -year strategy.

BDC has been given the leeway to invest outside Botswana and already some investments are being made in West Africa. Capacitating the staff in the above areas will come in handy for the African expansion.

Moipolai was answering a question from The Midweek Sun on Friday during the company’s annual stakeholder briefing where operational and financial reports for 2017/2018 were made public. The grant will be utilised in the next two years. BDC has reiterated its plan to continue to invest initiatives which are aimed at developing and retaining staff members.

“As we continue to build a strong BDC for the future, continuous learning and development is critical for our business success and therefore remains a priority area for Human Capital,” BDC 2017 annual report reads.

BDC has also developed a future focused competency based training that will be used to make informed learning and development decisions. “The (BDC) academy will also help BDC produce future leaders that are fluid and progressive through a bespoke leadership development,” reads the report.

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KBL announces return of Kickstart program

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Previous kickstart beneficiaries

Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, a unit of Sechaba has announced the return of Kickstart, a youth entrepreneurial development program that was suspended three years due to lack of financial resources, Managing Director, Renaud Beauchamp has told the media.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. According to Beauchamp, the revamped Kickstart will start next year, with an annual budget of about P1, 5 million. “We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that, they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent. The clear beer price reduction comes after the Alcohol Levy, which made beer expensive, was slashed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime some few months ago.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment has announced changes in trading hours for businesses that trade with liquor.

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