THE Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation’s (BEDCO) interventions on small to medium sector are bearing positive results as they are helping enterprises to access markets for their products.
The corporation, whose mandate is to build the capacity of micro, small to medium enterprises, recently returned from two separate international trade fairs where its beneficiary enterprises among other things competed for display excellence against counterparts from other countries.
For the first time, the Lesotho teams seemed to perform well on best stall set up by coming in second position at both the Botswana Consumer Fair (from 27 August to 2 September 2018) and the eSwatini International Trade Fair (from 30 August to 10 September this year).
BEDCO chief executive, ‘Makatleho Matabooe, believes their promising performance at the two fairs is an indication that the corporation is doing well in helping small enterprises to bridge the gap of market access.
“Coming second after the United States gives us the motivation that the work we are doing on our small enterprises is appealing to the international market,” Dr Matabooe said.
Dr Matabooe further explained that their beneficiaries have been trained on how to present themselves in stalls, product display in such a way that will be attractive to prospective buyers.
“As part of our efforts to help small enterprises to secure markets for their products, we teach them how to present themselves in stalls, product display and how to communicate so that their products may be bought.”
She said the aim of capacitating small enterprise is to see them grow into significant companies able to generate income for its operators as well as contributing to job creation.
“We want to see Basotho products trading on the international arena not just being limited to within our borders.”
She said increasing the production capacity of the small enterprises is key towards off-loading some of the burden of creating jobs currently sitting on the shoulders of the government.
Meanwhile, so impressed was the corporation with the performance from the two trade fairs that BEDCO has recognised the enterprises who took part their good work.
“The corporation will reward the participants with certificates in recognition for the role they played in promoting the image of BEDCO and also putting Lesotho on the global map.
“This is also to recognise the fact that BEDCO’s efforts of training the entrepreneurs on how to conduct themselves in stalls, product display and how to communicate to consumers have been successful,” Pesha Shale, BEDCO executive head of enterprise development said.
‘Maleloko Matlanyane, who took part in the Botswana Trade Fair, said her experience has helped her get clients for her products.
“We will soon be going back to Botswana to deliver the products that were ordered during the fair,” Ms Matlanyane said.
Her enterprise, Johnmat Designs and Accessories which produces clothing items, was among 15 enterprises that travelled to Botswana. The eSwatini team was made up of 10 enterprises.