In an attempt to arrest poverty that is exacerbated by rising youth unemployment, particularly educated youth, Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO), in collaboration with the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) and Standard Lesotho Bank calls for proposals for the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project. The project is intended to assist young unemployed graduates within the ages of 21 to 35 to become employers and drivers of economic growth by becoming entrepreneurs. The project, now in its second year, is intended to build a crop of young entrepreneurs who can break the barriers to become job creators, not job seekers. The three partner organisations are calling for viable, sustainable and profitable business proposals that will be financed for a combined start-up capital of M500,000.00.
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According to the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL), of the estimated 7,500 graduates who enter the job market every year, over half are unemployed. This startling reality paints a picture of a bleak future laced with despair in the minds of our otherwise educated, talented and motivated young graduates with immense but untapped potential to make a meaningful contribution in the economic growth of Lesotho.
In an attempt to arrest poverty that is exacerbated by rising youth unemployment, particularly educated youth, the Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO), in collaboration with the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Standard Lesotho Bank have joined efforts to assist young unemployed graduates within the ages of 21 to 35 to become employers and drivers of economic growth by becoming entrepreneurs in a project called Bacha Entrepreneurship Project.
The project is intended to build a crop of youngentrepreneurs who can break the barriers to become job creators, not job seekers. The three partner organisations are calling for viable,sustainable and profitable business proposals that will be financed for a total of M500, 000. 00 for as start – up capital for the three winning
business proposals.................download the attached pdf file(Full page) to continue reading.
BEDCO has historically established, built and developed micro, small and medium enterprises who participate in the mainstream economic activity of the country.
These are the ones who are charged with the onerous responsibility of creating jobs. They need the necessary skills and techniques to start, operate and grow their businesses in order to be efficient and effective in what they are doing.
Therefore, BEDCO not only fulfils its primary mandate of establishing and developing entrepreneurs, but also fulfils that of the government which is expressly spelt out in the NSDP.
They ply their trade in the streets and organised areas in all districts of the country where they sell their wares to earn a living.
BEDCO is establishing district SMME forums with intent to build mutual understanding and cooperation among various SMMEs who are scattered across the country.
The SMMEs will meet regularly under the auspices of the forums in all the districts, organise flea markets and other related activities.
They will act as BEDCO's ambassadors in the districts. The entrepreneurs will appoint three people to organise the forums – chairperson, secretary and treasurer.
These are not formal positions, but just a link between BEDCO and the entrepreneurs in the districts.
BEDCO launched its Phase I of the entrepreneurial capacity-building project, Ichorise Mohoebi on 25 November 2013. The project was intended to equip entrepreneurs with skills on how to start, operate and grow their businesses.
First, it helped those who had grand business ideas and would like to develop them into business, but had no shoulder to lean on so that they ended up in business.
The project registered an impressive number of entrepreneurs produced (587) most of whom were women, then youth and men.
With the Start-Your-Business module, Ichorise Mohoebi was able to equip starters in the business environment with techniques on how they could develop their grand business ideas into real business.
Second, there were entrepreneurs who are already in business, but just wanted techniques on how they could possibly operate their business in a professional manner so that they sustain in business. The project helped them a lot with technical skills on how they could do these.
Therefore, Phase II of Ichorise will be more watershed and focused, being geared towards assisting Basotho entrepreneurs with relevant business development skills.