Cash boost for budding enterprises
FOUR budding enterprises have been crowned winners of the third and final phase of the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project.
Spetzos Pizza went home with M177 122, Noblex IT, Limomonane and Mervice each walked away with M162 977, M159 902 and M140 000 respectively during the awarding ceremony on Thursday.
The project is sponsored by the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA), Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB) and Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO) to assist unemployed graduates aged between 21-35 years to start their own businesses and become employers rather than job-seekers.
SLB acting Chief Executive, Rethabile Mabaleha, said the winners would receive extensive business support to ensure the projects were sustainable.
“We are very grateful that we are together in this project and we pledged to give LRA and BEDCO the full banking and advisory support for the success of this project,” said Ms Mabaleha.
“We will also be working tirelessly with the winners to support and guide them in this journey of entrepreneurship, which for us is our daily bread.”
LRA acting Commissioner-General, Idia Penane, urged the beneficiaries to have determination in their endevours to last the distance.
“I need to plead with the beneficiaries that perseverance, determination, dedication and commitment are the four pillars that can get you to your dream land,” Ms Penane said.
“I urge you all not to despair but continue fighting. There are challenges everywhere that even well-established and stable entities do come across.”
She added: “But when we come across them we do not quit; we press on. Unfortunately, with the little resources that we have, we cannot assist all of you, but this should not be the end of your dreams.”
Spetzos Pizza founder, Teboho Nchaba, told the Sunday Express that the shot in the arm they received would enable the business to grow.
Launched last year, Spetzos Pizza operates two pizza restaurants in Ha Foso and at Sefika Complex in Maseru. They also operate a mobile wood-fired oven that can be transported to customers.
“This financial support courtesy of Standard Bank Lesotho, Lesotho Revenue Authority and Basotho Enterprises Development Authority comes at an opportune time when we are looking towards expanding our operations,” he said.
“We want to open a new branch since we have observed that the market is responding favourably to our product.”
Mr Nchaba also indicated that they had identified a location for a third restaurant, adding that they were hopeful that by next January, it would be opened.
The growth of the company would result in the increase of the workforce from nine to 16, he said.
“A new branch is going to need at least four people to run, and since we are also going to start offering delivery services, we will need two or three more people.”
Asked how he convinced the sponsors to fund the business, Mr Nchaba said: “I think our enterprise was able to convince funders about its viability simply because it is a proven, living concept rather than just an idea whose feasibility no one can predict. So, it was easy to say this is where I am and I need this much money to get to another point.
“I, therefore, would like to advice any aspiring businesspeople out there seeking for assistance to start projects before looking for funding. It will reduce the risk of investing in their enterprises.”