TEN of the 25 finalists under the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project shall be awarded seed capital to the tune of M2 million following a pitching session that was held two weeks ago.
Jan. 24, 2023
2 min read
M2 million up for grabs as youth business project takes off
Standard Lesotho Bank Marketing Manager, Manyathela Kheleli
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The last round and final awarding ceremony for successful entrepreneurs will be held on February 3.
Bacha Entrepreneurship Project is a seed capital initiative and a joint venture between Standard Lesotho Bank, Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL), and Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDC).
“As a leading financial services provider, Standard Lesotho Bank is passionate about the sustainability and the growth of the communities it serves. This project bears testimony to our unyielding resolve to show up for Basotho as their partner for growth. Over the last few years, we have demonstrated that we are a bank that supports businesses, hence our enduring commitment to this project and many others that we have supported to make entrepreneurship viable for Basotho,” Standard Lesotho Bank Marketing Manager Manyathela Kheleli said during the event.
Launched in 2014, the project was set up to help talented local youth entrepreneurs set up businesses through funding and mentoring, while also ultimately curbing unemployment.
The eleven-stage campaign calls on aspiring entrepreneurs to submit their business plans, attend intensive entrepreneurial and training workshops and finally pitch their business ideas before a panel of adjudicators tasked with scoring the overall feasibility and practicality of the enterprises, should they win the funding.
“Winning this competition would go a long way in expanding the business as initially planned before Covid-19. By winning the competition I would be able to buy necessary materials and employ enough people to grow the business,” one of the finalists, Selebalo Maama said.
Selebalo is the founder and director of S & M Solutions (PTY) LTD, a chalk manufacturing company established in June 2016, but was forced to close shop at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that left many small businesses in ruins.
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Bacha Entrepreneurship project is a collaborative effort by BEDCO, RSL, and Standard Lesotho Bank, that seeks to redress unemployment amongst the youth. It intends to breed a crop of entrepreneurs who can inspire change and prosperity by becoming the creators of jobs and not job seekers. This project sets the stage for the youth to shape and determine the economic agenda of their country, especially at a time when unemployment for the youth population in Africa is increasing at a rate higher than in other parts of the world.
The project has been beneficial in the establishment of some widely known local business enterprises such as Falimehang Supermarket, Spetzo’s Pizza, and Linford Vodka to name a few.
Other past and present entrepreneurial development initiatives also forming part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSI) avenues include Lioness of Africa, the Entrepreneurship Network, Local Supplier Development Programme (LSDP), and the Enterprise Hub.