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Be a passionate entrepreneur

Tebogo Toteng

“Discover your passion, metamorphose it into a business and your success is almost guaranteed”

Entrepreneurship is a passion. Thousands of people dream to be entrepreneurs yet they have not yet discovered what their true passion is. To a large degree your business is an extension of your personality.

If you have passion for something and you ensue that as a business, the vibrancy of your business will be determined by the passion that you have around the subject whether it is real estate, retailing or the financial services industry e.t.c.

The trick is that you need to have the same energy and drive for the rest of the business life but it is often difficult to maintain same levels of enthusiasm if you are not passionate about the subject. You must have the same throb and energy burst that you will require to maneuver the challenges that come with entrepreneurship.

The reason why some many businesses fail within the first year is people tend to come into business with reward as the biggest motivator while ignoring the total process.

The danger is that often these people will give up when confronted with basic hurdles because their intention is not to make the process work but the intention is to make money. So in a few months or possibly years when the money is not forthcoming then they fold and flee.

This is common knowledge largely ignored by many but this is one of the biggest fundamentals of business; engage your passion to fill a gap in the market because entrepreneurship is passion and lifelong commitment to service excellence. The commitment to success can only be there when there is underlying passion, in the absence of that failure is an eventuality.

Before engaging in any form of business the question that you should ask yourself is WHY am I in this business because doing that will assist you to self introspect. Will I be able to wake up ever morning with the same drive that I had yesterday? Answering the “WHY” question breathes life into your business idea and gives it a sense of purpose.

If you find yourself struggling to answer the WHY question, there is a great chance that your business will fail within a year because of lack of intrinsic motivation.

Entrepreneurship founded on the make money approach does not instigate any passion in the process. If the process encounters bottlenecks, the natural reaction is to fold and flee. But if it is based on passion there is resilience and commitment to the bigger picture.

When the Wright brothers, (one of my favourite illustration on resilience and commitment) invented the flying machine theirs was a dream driven by a passion bigger that just making money. Their thought was on revolutionizing the world and writing a new chapter in the transportation business.

They had very little money and resources coupled with near death experience but they never gave up because of passion and they endured. Other well funded researches failed because they were more money driven and no love for what they were doing.

I have several friends with different passion, who went on to become successful entrepreneurs and one common thing that I have noticed is that they have built their businesses around their lifestyle and passion. Every single day they go on living their passion while making fortunes at the same time.

One of them who is into Real estate goes through an emotional hardship whenever he finishes a house and has to sell it. He feels the pain because he loves houses. It is his passion and because he loves them he ensures that every single project is a masterpiece.

It is therefore very important for everyone to learn about what gives the eternal joy and mould money making ventures around that. If you do that your commitment to your business will never be in doubt
Build your business around your passion and you will be a success.

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Botswana on high red alert as AML joins Covid-19 to plague mankind

21st September 2020

This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.

The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.

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Finance Committee cautions Gov’t against imprudent raising of debt levels

21st September 2020
Finance Committe Chairman: Thapelo Letsholo

Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.

He was speaking in  Parliament on Tuesday delivering  Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a  motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.

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Gov’t Investment Account drying up fast!  

21st September 2020
Dr Matsheka

Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.

The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.

The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.

The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.

This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.

Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.

Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.

However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.

Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.

When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.

This  as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.

Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.

The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.

Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.

In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.

Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.

Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.

Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.

Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance   Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”

He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”

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