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M200 000 boost for young entrepreneurs

Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE Chinese embassy recently gave six upcoming entrepreneurs M33 000 each as part of an initiative to assist emerging businesses to grow and contribute to overall economic development.

The Chinese ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua, said the initiative which was the first of its kind in Lesotho, was conceived out of his government’s recognition that the youth were the most innovative and enterprising segment of the population.

The six winners are First Twin Designs, Matumeli Dairy Foods, Phorong Vegetables Project, Tsepang Dress Making, Infinity Computech and Office Services as well as Sani Wine.

They were chosen from a list of upcoming entrepreneurs whose businesses range from textiles, horticulture, information technology and wine production.

Speaking at the recent awards ceremony, Dr Xianghua said the rationale behind the awards was to assist young people “because we strongly believe that the youth are the most affected by the scourge of unemployment”.

“It is our strong belief that through our joint efforts here and abroad, the small and micro enterprises sector in Lesotho will provide more jobs, bring in more tax incomes and facilitate more exports.”

Dr Xianghua further noted that the small and micro enterprises are the backbone of economies in most countries, adding that the initiative to empower upcoming entrepreneurs would have a positive long term impact in Lesotho.

“According to the Statistics Bureau of Lesotho, there are at least 15900 registered business in Lesotho among which 75 percent are micro and small businesses.

“The National Strategic Development plan states that the estimated number of jobs provided by micro, small and medium enterprises stands at 300 000 including those in the formal sector and subsistence agriculture.”

For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Lesego Makhothi, expressed gratitude to the Chinese embassy for the boost they provided to the young entrepreneurs.

“We got into power on the back of promises to create jobs and for that to happen, young entrepreneurs have to be empowered,’ Mr Makhothi said.

He said he was pleased to see that the six winners were young entrepreneurs who were already employing people in their businesses.

One of the winners, Thakane Pebane, said the award motivated her to achieve even more.

“I pledge that this assistance from the Chinese Embassy will be put to good use,” Ms Pebane said.

 

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