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Promoting Enterprise

The Promoting Enterprise Development (PED) programme was established to support the development of Basotho micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Lesotho. It forms part of the wider African Development Bank (AfDB) funded Economic Diversification Support project (EDSP) and ran between January 2018 and March 2021.

The overall objective of the EDSP is to contribute to inclusive growth through enhanced economic diversification and strengthened enterprise development. The specific objective of PED was to assist MSMEs and businesses to plan, manage, and develop successful businesses in Lesotho as well as build the capacity of the Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO) to sustain the project aims after completion of the project. The primary target group for PED were Basotho MSMEs with a focus on women and youth-owned businesses. The direct institutional target was

Specifically the project was aimed at achieving the following Key Performance Indicators:

  •  Business incubation strategy

  •  Number of MSME owners trained in entrepreneurship skills

  • Innovative business plan competition

  • Institutional review of BDS providers

  • BEDCO Capacity

  • Tool-kits and training packages for BDS providers for enterprise development

The programme consisted of the following three components:

Business Plan Competition (BPC);

The business plan competition was a key component of PED which took place between March 2019 and August 2020. The component aimed to design and pilot an inclusive BPC that would facilitate access to finance and business skill support to high potential start-ups and existing MSMEs. BPC awarded 10 entrepreneurs with M100 000 per business. The 10 winners were enrolled into the incubation programme.

Business Incubation (BI);

Business Incubation was a key component of the PED programme, with activities which ran throughout almost the entire lifetime of PED. The aim of the BI component was to develop a strategy and implementation plan for business incubation in Lesotho that included piloting a virtual incubation programme. PED’s desired outcomes from the BI pilot were as follows:

  • a  full review and report on the business incubation ecosystem in Lesotho conducted and documented;

  • a strategy for business incubation based on the findings of the ecosystem review and an implementation road-map developed and executed;

  •  business incubation training designed and delivered to key stakeholders including incubator managers, potential mentors and Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO) staff;

  • a virtual business incubation platform (VBI) designed, tested, and launched (including a built-in performance rating tool);

  • a pipeline of potential entrepreneurs to participate in business incubation (through the business plan competition and VBI registrations) created;

  • the facilitation of the launch of an incubation programme for ten MSMEs (the BPC winners) official handover of BI activities to BEDCO.

The ten MSMEs that participated in the BI pilot were selected through a business plan competition

Business Development Services (BDS):
The aim of the BDS component was to conduct research and develop a strategy and implementation plan for business development services in Lesotho. PED’s desired outcomes from the BDS component were as follows:

  • a full assessment on BDS in Lesotho including key players, challenges and opportunities, conducted and drafted;

  • an institutional review of BDS providers (including BEDCO) conducted and drafted;

  •  a strategy for BDS (based on the findings of the market assessment and the institutional review) and an implementation roadmap developed and executed;

  • a BDS database developed and accessible by all stakeholders in the market; 

  •  100% of BEDCO staff trained to strengthen their role as facilitator and champion in the BDS market;

  • capacity building support provided to ten BDS providers (BDSPs), 50% of them being women and youths, and resources made available, to enable them to better support MSME clients;

  • training provided to 100 MSMEs (60% of them being women-owned);\

  • strengthened BDS networks; and official handover of BDS activities to BEDCO.

Economic Diversification Support Project

Promoting Enterprise Development

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