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5 reasons why you need a business network?


Sales and Success expert Jeffrey Gitomer says “becoming well known at least among your prospects and connections is the most valuable element in the connection process.” The golden rule of business is that people do business with people they know, like and connect to.  All of these business idioms are well known but the question is how committed are you to building a business network?

MoneyMind unravels the underrated power of connecting with other like-minded people for easier access, influence and opportunity for business expansion. Creating a network is a deliberate and conscious decision and it cannot be left to the gamble of fortune.

Many times the importance of networking is given lip service but many entrepreneurs tend not to actively pursue networking as a fundamental aspect of their businesses. The need to find peers pursuing the same goals is greater in today’s business environment than ever before in history. Business inter-dependence is common even past sworn rivals can sit at the table together because they realize they can achieve more by working together. That is why to today you can find a Blackberry Messenger (BBM) on Samsung Android system.

The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is to think they can make it on their own. However one of the greatest lessons in entrepreneurship is to create a vast network of people that can add value to your life. It is from this vast network that you end up meeting people you admire who can mentor and guide you.

As the common saying goes “show me your friends then I will tell you who you are,” it similarly applies that show me your network I will tell you how successful your business is.

 Spending time with people in your business network is the most important marketing and public relation exercise you can ever carry out as an entrepreneur. You will be able to copy habits, ideas and the ethos of successful men and women in various disciplines.

You will learn from the best in the industry that you are in, find friends and mentors that will guide you and that you can trust. Time is expensive and must be spent in pursuit of one’s desired goals. As you hang around the network you unconsciously start behaving like them, and they accept you as one of their own.

Five reasons why you need a network

Entrepreneurs need to be good leaders. Leadership is nothing more than your ability to influence. By being part of a group that is rich in practical ideas and testament to business success, you see leadership in action. Even in your network there will be leaders and you will be able to learn how to lead in a group of highly sophisticated people either by observing or slowly ascending the leadership rudder. Because leaders are visionary you will be able to discover your own place and determine the vision of your own company. Work on becoming part of network and not only that you must become an important player in that network.

Recently I posted in the MoneyMind Facebook page that when you wake up every day you must be richer than yesterday. A lot of the followers on the page were thinking rich in terms of money. When I posted I left it ambivalent but deep down I wasn’t talking about money. The greatest asset to an entrepreneur is knowledge when you wake up in the morning you must know something that you did not know yesterday. There is no greater learning than practical knowledge sourced from a group of knowledgeable peers. When you hang around your network you learn something new everyday.

When times are tough you need people to lean on. Business is cyclical and can undergo tumultuous times but it is even crazier when you do points of reference because every business goes through tough time. Some entrepreneurs within your network surely have undergone the same trouble and have negotiated through. When you have a vast network you have friends and peers that you can lean on when the going gets tough.

Multi-millionaire and author of the famous book Rich dad poor Dad  Robert Kiyosaki found a perfect way to market his book by leveraging on Amway Marketing network. By making the book inherently a requisite for the network Kiyosaki quadrupled the sales of the book by marketing the book to a network that already heralded the concept espoused by the book. As the Amway network marketing grows so will the sales of Rich dad poor Dad.  

Businesses whose owners are in networks are likely to survive. Common sense dictates that because they have an ample opportunity to a friendly networking market, they keep on getting referrals and reselling opportunities hence essential repeat income. Business supported by networks often survives economic challenges because they are cushioned by the power of the network.  

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Grit divests from Letlole La Rona

22nd March 2023

Grit Services Limited, a member of the pan African real estate group, London Stock Exchange listed Grit Real Estate Income Group is divesting from Letlole La Rona Limited (LLR), a local real estate company established by government investment arm Botswana Development Corporation over a decade ago.

The Board of Directors of Letlole La Rona Limited this week announced in a statement to Unitholders that Grit Services Limited (‘Grit’) has informed them of its intention to exit its investment in the company.

Grit has been a material shareholder in LLR since 2019. On 07 March 2023, Grit sold 6 421 000 linked units, representing 2.29% of the Company’s total securities in issue, at a market value of BWP 22 537 710.

This trade follows previous sales of 6.79% in December 2022, as communicated to Unitholders on 10 January 2023, as well as a further sale of 4.78% (representing 13 347 068 linked units) on 24 February 2023 to various shareholders.

In aggregate, Grit has sold 13.9% shareholding in the Letlole La Rona between December 2022 and March 2023, resulting in current shareholding of 11.25% in the Company.

Letlole La Rona said in the statement that the exit process will take place in an orderly manner so as to maintain stability of the Company’s share price.

The statement explained that Grit’s sale of its entire shareholding in LLR is in line with its decision to exit investments where it does not have majority control, or where it has significant exposure to currencies other than US dollar, Euro or hard-currency-pegged revenue streams.

“Grit has announced similar decisions pertaining to certain of its hospitality assets in Mauritius recently. The Company would like to advise Unitholders that it remains focused on long-term value delivery to all stakeholders” LLR said

In July last year as part of their Go-to-Africa strategy Letlole La Rona acquired an initial 30% equity stake in Orbit Africa Logistics, with an option to increase this investment to 50%. OAL is a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Mauritius, owning an industrial asset in a prime industrial node in Nairobi, Kenya.

The co-investment was done alongside a wholly owned subsidiary of London listed Grit. The Orbit facility is situated on a prime industrial site on Mombasa Road, the principal route south of Nairobi center, serving the main industrial node, the port of Mombasa and the industrial town of Athi River and is strategically located 11 kilometers south of the international airport and 9.6 kilometers from the Inland Container Depot.

Grit shareholding in Letlole La Rona was seen as strategic for LLR, for the company to leverage on Grit’s already existing continental presence and expand its wings beyond Botswana borders as already delivered by Kenya transaction.

Media reports have however suggested that LLR and Grit have since late last year had fundamental disagreements on how to go about the Go-to-Africa strategy amongst other things, fuelled by alleged Botswana government interference on the affairs of LLR.

Government through LLR founding shareholder – Botswana Development Corporation has a controlling stake of around 40 percent in the company. Government is the sole shareholder of Botswana Development Corporation.

Letlole La Rona recently released their financial results for the six months ended December 2022, revenue increased by 4% to P50.2 million from P48.4 million in the prior comparative six months, whilst operating profit was up 8% to P36.5 million. Profit before tax of P49.7 million was reported, an increase of 8% on the prior comparative six months.

“We are encouraged by the strong results, notwithstanding a challenging economic environment. Our performance was mainly underpinned by annual lease escalations, our quality tenant base and below average market vacancy levels, especially in our warehouse portfolio,” Kamogelo Mowaneng, Letlole La Rona Chief Executive Officer commented.

LLR reported a weighted average lease expiry period of 3.3 years and escalation rates averaging 6.8% per annum for the period ended 31 December 2022.Its investment portfolio value increased by 14% year-on-year to close the period at P1.4 billion, mainly driven by the acquisition of a 30% stake in OAL in July 2022.

The Company also recorded a significant increase in other income, predominantly due to foreign exchange gains on the OAL shareholder loan. “We continue to explore pipeline opportunities locally, and regionally in line with our Go-to-Africa strategy and our interest remains on value-accretive investments,” Mowaneng said.

An interim distribution of 9.11 thebe per linked unit was declared on the 6th of February 2023 for the half-year period to 31 December 2022, comprising of a dividend of 0.05 thebe and debenture interest of 9.06 thebe per linked unit which will be paid to linked unit holders registered in the books of the Company at the close of business on 24 February 2023.

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Stargems Group establishes Training Center in BW

20th March 2023

Internationally-acclaimed diamond manufacturing company StarGems Group has established the Stargems Diamond Training Center which will be providing specialized training in diamond manufacturing and evaluation.

The Stargems Diamond Training Institute is located at the Stargems Group Botswana Unit in Gaborone.

“In accordance with the National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS) which holds the principle that through education and skills development as well as the strategic alignment between national ambitions and individual capabilities, Botswana will become a prosperous, productive and innovative nation due to the quality and efficacy of its citizenry. The Training Centre will provide a range of modules in theory and in practice; from rough diamond evaluation to diamond grading and polishing for Batswana, at no cost for eight weeks. The internationally- recognized certificate offered in partnership with Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training School presents invaluable opportunities for Batswana to access in the diamond industry locally and internationally. The initiative is an extension of our Corporate Social Investment to the community in which we operate,” said Vishal Shah, Stargems Group Managing Director, during the launch of the Stargems Diamond Training Center.

In order to participate in this rare opportunity, interested candidates are invited to submit a police clearance certificate and a BGCSE certificate only to the Stargems offices.  Students who excel in these programs will have the chance to be onboarded by the Stargems Group. This serves as motivation for them to go through this training with a high level of seriousness.

“Community empowerment is one of our CSR principles. We believe that businesses can only thrive when their communities are well taken of. We are hoping that our presence will be impactful to various communities and economies. In the six countries that we are operating in, we have contributed through dedicating 10% of our revenues during COVID-19 to facilitate education, donating to hospitals and also to NGOs committed to supporting women and children living with HIV. One key issue that we are targeting in Botswana is the rate of unemployment amongst the youth. We are looking forward to working closely with the government and other relevant authorities to curb unemployment,” said Shah.

Currently, Stargems Group has employed 117 Batswana and they are looking forward to growing the numbers to 500 as the company grows. Majority of the employees will be graduates from the Stargems Diamond Training Center. This initiation has been received with open arms by the general public and stakeholders. During the launch, the Minister of Minerals and Energy,  Honorable Lefoko Moagi, stated that the ministry fully endorses Stargems Diamond Training and will work closely with the Group to support and grow the initiative.

“As a ministry, we see this as an game changer that is aligned with one of the United Nations’ Six Priority Sustainable Development Goals, which is to Advance Opportunity and Impact for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). What Stargems Group is launching today will have a huge impact on the creation of employment in Botswana. An economy’s productivity rises as the number of educated workers increases as its skilled workmanship increases. It is not a secret that low skills perpetuate poverty and widen the inequality gap, therefore the development of skills has the potential to contribute significantly to structural transformation and economic growth by enhancing employability and helping the country become more competitive. We are grateful to see the emergence of industry players such as Stargems Group who have strived to create such opportunities that mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy,” said the Minister of Minerals and Energy.

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Food import bill slightly declines

20th March 2023

The latest figures released by Statistics Botswana this week shows that food import bill for Botswana slightly declined from around P1.1 billion in November 2022 to around P981 million in December during the same year.

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