Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) a unit of Sechaba Holdings has this week re-launched Kick Start programme nearly four years after it stopped in 2015 due to financial constraints.
Through the programme, 15 successful upcoming and existing entrepreneurs specifically the youth will receive a grant of up to P200, 000 each from tune of P2million and thus will also include business coaching, monitoring and mentorship for 12 months. Minister of Investment, Trade & Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo who was officiating the event said government have been working on the three apex model at the ministry, and one of them is on SMME development. She said government have been drastically looking for foreign investments which will help in SMME developments, one sector which both locally and internationally are the engines of growth.
The youthful minister said the Kick Start programme will help government efforts in helping to achieve a goal of reducing poverty alleviation and also high unemployment rate specifically the youth. “For 11 years, the Kick Start has trained 300 young people, which is about 27 per annum and there were 75 young people who were funded and this was an average of about a tune of P1.5 million per annum used,” said Kenewendo.
She said KBL is working on an awareness campaign in which its aim is to reach all corners of the country for potential young entrepreneurs to benefit from the program. KBL Corporate Affairs Manager Masegonyana Madisa said the program will attract more than 30 000 applications hence this year they have introduced online submissions through which applicants will submit using the website specially created for the programme.
“The judges will select only 50 successful applications, because we want the best, the best only. They will be taken for training so that they can be able to draw a comprehensive business plan,” he shared. Madisa further said the top 50 applicants will be given a month in order for them to be able to implement their business ideas. According to Madisa, adjudicators will be brought to conduct interviews in which applicants will have to show why they should be given the grant. Then a recommendation will be done to the board which will then award the grants to the top 15 successful entrepreneurs.
He said this year, 60 percent of beneficiaries will be female whilr the remaining 40 percent will be male as a gesture towards women empowerment. Madisa said the winners of this will receive 12 months mentorship in which they will be trained in areas of business management and other areas needed to run the business.
One of the beneficiaries of Kick Start program and also the Ambassador Wapula Matshambane who is the founding director of Footprints Africa Safaris said her company is known internationally as she works with diplomatic protocols and currently working with international companies through the help of Kick Start.
She said her company usually represents the country on international meetings for the presidential states visits, as her company is given the tender to provide the services for such visits. “I edge the entire potential young entrepreneurs to take it serious, to give back to the community hence adding value to the GDP of the country. As a tourism and hospitality industry we bring tourists thus creating employment,” she noted.
Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
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As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
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Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.
The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.
Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.
“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.
He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.
Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.
“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.
He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.
He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc
“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran
Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.
“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.
Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.
“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.
He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.
“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams
He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .
Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.
“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.