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UNDP awards women entrepreneurs


Senate Lerotholi

INCLUDING women in business can significantly help in fighting poverty and fostering the country’s economic growth, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Betty Wabunoha, has said.

Ms Wabunoha said this recently while presenting certificates to 18 women entrepreneurs during a ceremony held at Thaba-Bosiu.

The women were recognised for pioneering their own businesses after successfully completing a two-week training programme dubbed ‘Capacity Building for Women-Led Enterprises’ run by the UNDP under the theme: Her Empire.

The workshop was aimed at empowering the women to ensure their businesses’ sustainability, improving their management skills and helping them to open new markets.

“We see positive dividends when we prioritise women,” Ms Wabunoha said.

“Their contributions and leadership in the economy is the lens through which we look at this two-week training and its possible impact not only on the trainees, but also to our community and society.”

She said the participants were further introduced to UNDP’s procurement requirements so that they are aware of opportunities that the organisation offers for growth.

“With the ‘Her Empire’ programme, we have taken a deliberate and strategic decision to enhance women’s competitiveness in procurement bidding processes. At UNDP we will do our part to make this possible and so as entrepreneurs you should also do yours,” Ms Wabunoha said.

The principal secretary in the Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation ministry, ‘Mamoeketsi Ntho, said women needed to be capacitated to succeed in business regardless their age.

“Our mandate as the ministry includes empowering women and youth economically. This type of initiative by UNDP is helping us to attain at least three (Sustainable Development Goals) SDGs – ending poverty, gender equality, and promoting full productive employment,” Ms Ntho said.

Establishing businesses for women would go a long way in creating employment and reducing poverty, “therefore, this important sector should be given the priority it deserves”.

“Once women get economically viable, they will be able to address conditions that they are exposed to when they are poor,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of the participants, Relebohile Tapole, said the workshop had reminded them that women could also become successful in business like their male counterparts.

The training had given them an opportunity to network and form partnerships, she said.

“We cannot wait to go back home and make use of the knowledge that we have acquired from this workshop. The training has helped us recognise that our dreams can be achievable if we become accountable,” Ms Tapole said.

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