Vodacom equips entrepreneurs

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Bereng Mpaki

AS part of its continued efforts to empower Basotho with entrepreneurship skills, Vodacom Lesotho (VCL) has launched a Business Clinic at its Maseru Mall-based Vodacom Innovation Park (VIP).

The maiden session of the Business Clinic was held last Friday, with budding and established entrepreneurs sharing business ideas, knowledge and experience to transform their businesses for the better.

The Business Clinic is follow up to VIP, another VCL initiative meant to mentor up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Established in 2015, VIP is a technology-based business incubator for young entrepreneurs.

According to VCL’s Communications and Foundation Specialist Thato Mochone, the Business Clinic sessions are held every Friday starting at 2pm and open to budding and established entrepreneurs.

She indicated that the initiative was also meant to alleviate the high unemployment rate in the country by fostering an entrepreneurship spirit among Basotho, especially youths.

“Because we believe that entrepreneurship is key in solving the current unemployment problem the country is facing, we have come up with the Business Clinic to empower people with business skills,” Ms Mochone said.

In light of the difficulties many budding entrepreneurs faced in foraying into various trades, she said the Business Clinic would address such challenges through imparting the knowhow of invited business experts.

The Business Clinic, Ms Mochone said, was also complementing the VIP initiative.  The entire VIP programme takes a year, with the initial 12 weeks consisting of intensive training sessions of 20 hours per week. The rest of the programme entails one-on-one counselling sessions held on a monthly basis.

“We realised that, due to space constraints, the VIP could not accommodate many entrepreneurs. So, we decided to extend the VIP by introducing the Business Clinic sessions which will reach more people.”

She said the turnout at the first session was high, adding that they were expecting more people on Friday.

“Our maiden session, which was facilitated by Khabele Mofelehetsi, the co-owner of 2nd Wave Gym and founder of Grindnation, was quite successful. We intend to build on that momentum as we go forward.”

Since the business challenges faced by Basotho entrepreneurs were not only limited to the country, Ms Mochone said they were also considering bringing experts from other countries to share their experiences in overcoming their challenges.

She said a registration system for the Business Clinic was still being finalized, adding that people interested could visit the VIP centre for more details.

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