Standard Lesotho Bank would like to congratulate the top 15 youth businesses that made it to the last stage of the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project. Further congratulations are also in order to MD Piggery (awarded M149 000), Pasa Production (awarded M173 000), Lesotho Bookings (awarded M175 000) and Wild Plants Growers (awarded M195 000). In a country that is plagued by high unemployment rates, particularly amongst the youth, entrepreneurship has since become a key factor in boosting Lesotho’s economy. It thus gives the bank great joy and pride to see the booming business ideas that will not only bring change to Lesotho but the global community at large.
A joint effort by Standard Lesotho Bank, Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO) and Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA), the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project endeavors to amend unemployment amongst Lesotho’s youth. We received more than 200 business proposals countrywide and shortlisted down to 40 proposals. 20 of which were Central, 10 North and 10 Southern region youth proposals, during the implementation phase of the project, the Top 40 candidates are given intensive training and mentorship on skills such as tax compliance, finance and entrepreneurship. This serves the purpose of transforming their ideas into fully operational businesses by equipping them with essential elements to start a business apart from monetary capital.
Having initially been targeted at graduates with completed first degree qualifications or higher, the criteria this year was adjusted. CEO of BEDCO, Dr. ‘Makatleho Matabooe explained that youth between the ages of 21-35 years who have reached the last year of high school (regardless of whether they passed or not) now have a shot at partaking in the initiative. Furthermore, she went on to disclose that the prize money has since increased from M500 000 to M700 000 as a means of better equipping the up-and-coming businesses. Chief Executive of Standard Lesotho Bank, Mr Mpho Vumbukani, went on to encourage those who did not win the cash prizes in that no investor would turn down a good pitch thus the road does not end with this particular project. Founder of Amalgamated Engineering solution, Mr Moremi Sojane, added on that a good idea ultimately finances itself.