Drive to empower emerging entrepreneurs

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By Limpho Sello

MASERU — The Youth Entrepreneurs Forum (YEF), which was unveiled last month in Berea, is on an ambitious drive to ensure its establishment throughout the country.

The organisation’s deputy spokesperson Thato Fonya last Friday told the Lesotho Times YEF, which seeks to empower young Basotho with business skills and encourage them to be entrepreneurs in their own country and districts, will be launched in Mafeteng on April 26 and Butha-Buthe on May 3.

Fonya said every district of the country would eventually be catered for, with members of the forum engaging the youth and speaking about what YEF stands for, as well as opportunities that exist within the organisation.
“After educating the youths, we don’t just leave them; we guide them on how to start businesses and then facilitate the election of committees that will assist in spreading the work of YEF within the district,” Fonya said.

YEF president, Thaele Makhetha, said the organisation was formed after the realisation that the country’s youths have limited knowledge on how to start their own businesses and improve their already existing enterprises.
“What we are hoping to achieve through the forum is the improvement of livelihoods among the youths,” Makhetha said.
“We would want to see the youths dedicate themselves in businesses, to have business management skills and also make them aware of the business opportunities out there.
“When we started the forum, we decided to include young people who are not in business but have the desire to be entrepreneurs in the future.
“The forum is also aimed at solving challenges they might come across in their businesses or during the establishment of their companies.
“We would also want to reach out to young people in rural areas, who are not that exposed to the outside world, and tell them that there are business opportunities where they are based and that they can take advantage of those opportunities.
“We also know that some youths want to be entrepreneurs but have problems with capital, so we are going to show them how they can start businesses with little funding.”

Asked how starting a business without capital could be possible, Makhetha, a co-owner of MF Holdings whose operations entail the provision of Information Communication Technology (ICT) products and services, said he also started “from nothing” but now employs over 15 people.
“So it is possible because you have to start small and then grow when you have the amount of money you need,” Makhetha said.

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