MASERU- Vodacom Innovation Park (VIP) on Friday held a seminar that was aimed at encouraging the youth to enter into the entrepreneurship sphere than being employees, in order to increase their chances of becoming businesspeople and their own bosses in future.
Presenting his motivational topic to the youth, accountant and business consultant Robert Likhang said it has been long that African people “have become slaves to their masters”, wanting to be just employees for the entrepreneurs who come to invest in their countries, and this comes with nothing but a small portion of monthly salaries.
He said entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking, and that it is an essential part of a nation's ability to succeed in an ever changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.
He pointed that entrepreneurship can be scary because there is no guarantee that the business will work, and that an entrepreneur may wonder if he/she will end up losing money or gaining it for the first few years.
Likhang, however, encouraged the youths to take the plunge and said entrepreneurship can be very compelling and driving force behind everyone’s innovation and aspirations. According to him, “If one has got a great idea or a unique service, a fantastic line of recipes, or a ‘can't-miss’ product” then they are likely to become successful entrepreneurs.
He continued to say that a successful entrepreneur must take time to study their intended business and the problems that his/her customers may encounter and how these problems can be solved. He further says they should not only look at how profits can be made, but also work hard to build a good relationship with their customers.
“As an entrepreneur you will need to talk to people, talk to your customer. Know what they want, talk to people who have succeeded and people who have failed. Talk to people in a similar business and find out the unforeseen obstacles they have faced, as well as the factors that helped them succeed. Talk to friends, family and strangers about your services and business,” he added.
As he went on inspiring youth on entrepreneurship business, Likhang pointed that starting one’s own business is a very personal decision with wide-ranging and long-lasting consequences. He however, warned the youths against entering into a business without enough preparedness or without the full knowledge of the business as well as the willingness to embrace the possible downside if it does not succeed.
Vodacom Foundation manager Mpho Brown said it was their dream to see Basotho youth being successful in the business field. Brown told the youths that the company would continue with such sessions at least twice a week to give the youths confidence to start their own businesses.
Vodacom Innovation Park is non-profit making arm of the company, which helps entrepreneurs to improve their businesses and give them a better chance to survive; a better chance of creating more jobs and a better chance of being successful. It also works with entrepreneurs to give them the tools to succeed and a competitive edge over their competition, and to raise awareness of entrepreneurial issues in Lesotho.