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Trade minister encourages business development

Trade minister Dr Thabiso Molapo

Sept. 26, 2020 3 min read

3 min read

THE Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Thabiso Molapo has encouraged Basotho to venture into different types of businesses through the financial assistance of the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC).

Speaking at a district road show that was held at Leribe English Medium in Hlotse, Leribe on Friday, the minister said both the government and LNDC had contributed up to M410 million towards the development of local businesses.

The road show was aimed at promoting the LNDC Development Finance Instruments within the local private sector and participating commercial banks that have presence in the selected districts to promote Investment Opportunities.

It was also meant to create a platform for LNDC stakeholders to engage the local sector.

Dr Molapo further urged Basotho to apply for financial assistance to start new businesses and boost existing ones, adding however that more foreigners are trading than Basotho.
He was quick to show that there are several business opportunities which Basotho can venture into while LNDC through its representatives will guide them through the different kinds of financial assistance on offer.
He also appealed to Basotho to engage in agriculture, saying residents of Leribe should use the Tsikoane Market Centre to their advantage.

He said the government has engaged several people in the public service, hence, the private sector should also do its bit by contributing to the reduction of the high unemployment level in the country.

He further urged those who are still struggling to get their businesses off the ground to come forward to get assistance.

“It is time we sold our products to the whole world,” he also said.
Addressing the youth, Dr Molapo encouraged them to come together and form societies and joint businesses.

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For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of LNDC Mohato Seleke said it is the responsibility of the corporation to ensure that the government’s concern on business growth is adhered.
He said from 2017, LNDC has come up with three major pillars, the Property Development Management which is focused on building of factories, LNDC Development Finance unit which is aimed at sourcing funds for the business people and how they can produce and the Investment and Trade Promotion aimed at investments opportunities within and outside Lesotho.
Echoing similar sentiments, the General Manager Development Finance Business Unit Theko Bereng said there are different loans agreements that the business community has the opportunity to apply for.
The first he said is the Quasi Equity instrument which provides innovative finance to fast growing local companies and promises high development effects.

He said there is also the Equity Finance product available to support National Strategic Development Programme (NSDP) II aligned projects initiated or promoted by the corporation.
Mr Bereng said business owners also benefit from the Partial Credit Guarantee (COVID-19 Response which offers zero application and guarantee fees offering up to 75 percent guarantee, M8 million maximum guaranteed and M200 000 minimum.
Lepota Nkisi who is a private entrepreneur said every business owner needs financial assistance during this period of COVID-19, adding that competition for assistance has gone up.

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