A rising star in business

A rising star in business

MASERU – BROUGHT up in Ha-Tsautsoe, Maseru, Ntšepiseng Rantle used to see scores of people trudging to the city to sell items for a living. For Rantle, this awakened the entrepreneurship spirit in her.  Early in her life, she began selling bottled water at political rallies, a small venture that earned her good money to meet her modest needs then.
Rantle, a certified accounting technician, has continued that journey ever since and is now on a firm footing to launch herself into being a big player in the business sector.
Rantle says after completing her studies at the Centre of Accounting Studies, she proceeded to Botswana to further her studies.
She vividly remembers that on her way to Botswana, she would pass through Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa to buy items to sell to her classmates.
“Clothes and hair pieces were lucrative at that time,” she says.

On her way back home, Rantle would bring fashion items such as clothes for people in Lesotho, making her an itinerant trade woman.
In this April this year, the 32-year-old launched what she considers to be her first serious foray into big time business.
With small personal savings and a little help from her parents, Rantle opened a shoe care business where she repairs worn-out shoes.

The business idea was born during her days as a student in Botswana when she visited a shoe care shop in that country and she decided to take the concept back home.
To her knowledge, she is the only Mosotho involved in such a venture locally. But she is not stopping there.
“The business is still new, but I can assure you that it is promising,” says the ambitious goal getter with big dreams.
Rantle also does laundry and folding.

It is this burning desire to expand her empire that has prompted Rantle to also open a cleaning company and she already has a contract with one well known fast food outlet in the city.
She takes five people with her whenever she goes there to clean.
“I do the cleaning in that shop from Thursday to Sunday,” Rantle says.

She says she also supplies shops and individuals with cleaning chemicals.
When it comes to marketing tools, Ntšepiseng boldly states that nothing beats Facebook.
She says she meets a lot of her customers through the social networking site.

“Foreigners working in Maseru are loyal and reliable customers for the laundry and folding business,” she says, adding that she is hoping to become one of the country’s major employers in the near future. For Rantle, entrepreneurship is one of the most effective ways for Lesotho to beat the high unemployment and poverty levels stalking the country.
She says there is usually unbearable pressure on graduates to score plush formal jobs after completing their studies in a country where such opportunities are hard to come by.
The government, she says, should step up efforts to help young people with start-up capital.

Rantle says while she was looking for capital to start her business, she approached the Ministry of Small Businesses in hopes of benefitting from the M10 million fund that the ministry has put aside to help youths start business projects.
She did not get the money.

“I was informed that I had qualified for the grant. My proposal was amongst the best, but I do not know what happened,” she says.
That did not deter her and today, Rantle is turning into a shining star that could inspire many other young Basotho disillusioned by lack of formal jobs.

Majara Molupe

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