25 shortlisted Bacha Entrepreneurship Project submit final proposals after business training
Phase III of the ongoing Bacha Entrepreneurship Project sponsored by BEDCO, Lesotho Revenue Authority and Standard Lesotho Bank reaches the penultimate stage with the submission of final proposals by the top twenty five (25) applicants who completed a two week training on entrepreneurship last month. The resubmission of revised proposals is part of the process to find three promising entrepreneurs that will share a prize money of M500,000.00 to kick start their entrepreneurship projects.
A call for proposals was issued in May 2017 to unemployed graduate youth between the ages of 21 to 35 to submit business proposals to promote entrepreneurship and arrest rampant unemployment amongst youth.
The twenty five 25 applicants were selected after a review of 101 applications which were submitted from youth throughout the country. From the 25 applicants, only 10 will make it to the finals, which will also include oral interviews for the applicants to defend their proposals. The selection is done by a competent and experienced panel of adjudicators drawn from partner organizations and collegial institutions appraised all submitted proposals.
Meanwhile, one of the winners of the 2015 project, Kemet Designs, who specialize in Seanamarena inspired fashion will jet off to the New York Now in New York early in the year of 2018 to showcase their designs fashion buyers across the globe. One of the directors, Teboho Moekoa says that they realized their dream in the journey that they have travelled with the mentorship and support of Bacha Entrepreneurship Project. “In the space of just over two years, we have achieved so much and we are indebted to our sponsors, who have inspired us with hope and unearthed the entrepreneurship in us.” He said adding that they are looking beyond New York to new frontiers in Basotho inspired fashion.
Bacha Entrepreneurship Project is a collaborative effort by BEDCO, Lesotho Revenue Authority and Standard Lesotho Bank in an effort that seeks to redress unemployment amongst the youth. It intends to breed a crop of entrepreneurs who can inspire change and prosperity by becoming the creators of jobs and not job seekers. This project sets the stage for the youth to shape and determine the economic agenda of their country. This is a chance for the youth to turn a crisis into an opportunity, especially at the time when unemployment for the youth population in Africa is increasing at a rate higher than other parts of the world.
The project is targeted at graduates who have completed their first degree qualification or higher and have never had any opportunity of any type of formal employment after attaining their qualifications. During the implementation phase of the projects, candidates are constantly mentored and provided with entrepreneurial, financial and tax compliance guidance in order to transform their ideas into fully-fledged businesses that are fully operational and integrated into the mainstream economy, thereby creating revenue and opportunities for employment in the wider community.