BEDCO to boost SMMEs

BEDCO to boost SMMEs

MASERU – THE Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO) is set to relaunch its flagship Ichorise Mohoebi programme in an effort to accelerate job creation and improve market access.

The programme seeks to train small and medium enterprises managers on how to grow their businesses. It also seeks to empower experts to impart their knowledge to managers of small businesses.

The corporation’s Enterprise Development Manager, Thabiso Sebakiso, said it is important to bring together small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME’s) to implement the programme.

“We are seriously dedicated and are working very hard on different strategies to engage in the development of the country’s economy,” Sebakiso said.

“Ichorise Mohoebi is one of our national capacity building educational programme and biggest programmes for private sector development planning agencies,” he said.

“Our mission is to provide business skills training for start-ups and already existing entrepreneurs for the benefit of the full range of SMMEs in Lesotho, and to create sustainable jobs and increase wealth through the transfer of practical business skills.”

The Ichorise Mohoebi, which is a national entrepreneurial skills development project, was launched by BEDCO at the end of 2013.

The project consists of four modules, the first being the Consultant Capacity Module which is provided to accountants and business consultants to enable them to offer training in the project.

Other modules comprise Start Your Business, Operating Your Business and Grow Your Business.

BEDCO has put aside over M5 million to fund the project, which is being implemented free of charge throughout Lesotho.

For existing start-ups, BEDCO provides enterprise support by facilitating value chain linkages among businesses operating in similar industries.

Sebakiso said they had identified some experienced mentors who already have accredited skills to offer such training to start-up entrepreneurs.

He also said they are committed towards implementing this programme to ensure that youths are also empowered to start their own businesses and after getting access to finances, they should not be ignored but rather be given proper guidance on managing enterprises.

“We have now come up with a proper solution in ensuring that our local entrepreneurs make use of the funding in the correct manner,” he said.

Sebakiso said “youths have been involved in arts and accessories and on this component, we aim to empower the young generation through arts education, to develop a crafts culture for young people, and to use art as a tool in the development process in Lesotho”.

“The idea of involving and encouraging youths in arts making is also to introduce young people in arts made for and about the youth, facilitate the discussion of the same arts to help youths understand the culture even better but most importantly to begin exploring the art of making accessories,” he said.

He said Lesotho needs to establish showrooms to display Basotho products in different countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, India and other nations that we have diplomatic relations with.

“We need to establish SMMEs parks because we believe that such places would ideally have a commercial centre to attract customers, the small businesses park and an incubation centre for start-ups,” Sebakiso said.

He said BEDCO is still to start promoting global entrepreneurship which will enable local traders to showcase their products internationally.

He said BEDCO will be hosting an international expo in November “to give our entrepreneurs a platform to compete and learn from other experienced nations”.

Mosiuoa Frantši



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