THE road to entrepreneurship success is paved with challenges that require hard work, discipline and perseverance.
However, its reward is financial independence and security as well as reducing unemployment by providing employment to others.
These are some of the nuggets dispensed by Computer Business Solutions (CBS) founder, Mohlalefi Sefika, during a workshop held last week in Maseru as part of Money Month commemorations.
The annual campaign, which ends on 31 October 2017, is meant to raise awareness on financial issues to the general public.
Organised by the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) it is held in conjunction with financial sector players to equip the public with skills and techniques to better manage their finances.
This year’s theme is “I Take Control of My Money. Do You?” The campaign was extended from the week of previous editions to a month to enable more coverage of topics and audiences.
During the campaign, members of the public are taught on how to manage money, become wise consumers, manage risks and emotions associated with money. They will also lean about their social economic rights and responsibilities, developing savings habits from an early age in order to cultivate key money managing skills and earning money through development of livelihood skills and entrepreneurial training.
Chronicling his entrepreneurial journey, Dr Sefika said success is not attained by taking the easy route, but requires hard work and determination.
“If you want to make money, don’t take the easiest route. You need patience, hard work, determination and resilience in addition to identifying a product to sell,” he said.
“You need to take your future into your own hands. After all, your own success is your responsibility. Don’t blame your circumstances, family, or government. The only role government plays is to level the playing field for everyone to make money; they have no obligation to give you money.”
Dr Sefika indicated that he started the company while he was still a lecturer at the National University of Lesotho.
“Venturing into the business world really helped me find my passion and create a platform to not only generate extra income, but also contribute to the lives of the people employed by the company,” he said.
“It is up to you to use your talents to make money and become entrepreneurs. The sad truth is that the unemployment rate is high and most people will struggle to find jobs.”
Keeping operational costs down and minimising loans were also key to keeping the business afloat.
“At CBS, we only borrow money to finance projects that will generate more money. That is our policy,” said Dr Sefika.
“It’s important to thoroughly assess the things you spend your money on; money is, after all, a very rare commodity. It doesn’t matter how much you earn or the profit you make; there is always an opportunity to save. Create a long-term financial plan to help you allocate your money to the important things.
He added: “Check your bank statement and verify the information because mistakes happen; you can never truly be too careful with money.
“Don’t be a victim of banks because they can also make mistakes; keep all records of your bank transactions on hand. Look after your money, don’t lose your money unnecessarily.”