Maseru- Vodacom’s M-Pesa has transformed economic interaction in Lesotho and its success has reshaped banking, extended financial inclusion and facilitated the creation of hundreds of small businesses.
In a continued commitment to empower small businesses with alternative revenue streams, Vodacom Lesotho awarded a brand new car in a draw held at Sefika Complex last week alongside other prizes for the M-Pesa agents’ who entered the competition.
The lucky winner of the ultimate prize which was a Toyota cab is Moeketsi Leboto, whose business is popularly known as Uncle Max’s Tavern in Maqhaka. Expressing his joy after coming out victorious, Leboto said the pride of being an M-pesa agent had not been an easy one since he joined the scheme in 2013.
He said when M-Pesa was introduced in 2013, it was a foreign thing and as a result it became much of a challenge to go into such business but he however, said his business has since grown from strength to strength.
M-Pesa agents’ competition ran for six months with selections of the most outstanding agents out of over 2 000 countrywide. The criteria for being entered into the competition were, among other things, based on their ability to meet the set targets with them being categorized from gold, silver and bronze.
Other participants in the competition walked away with retail refrigerators and wall safes which will contribute to the growth of their businesses.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Head of Department Vodacom Corporate Affairs Ts’epo Ntaopane indicated that Vodacom strives to transform lives through technology and in the relevant context through M-Pesa. He explained that they have made it their mission to come up with innovative ways to make money accessible to everyone; for them to receive and send money from anywhere in and outside the country.
“We seek to grow micro/small businesses through availing M-Pesa services in businesses and give them a variety of paying options”, Ntaopane emphasized, indicating that the journey of growing together with them continues.
Giving the statistics on behalf of the over 2000 agents countrywide, Tlokotsi Hlalele, who is a street vendor and a M-Pesa agent from Hlotse, Leribe stated that he is true testament to the fact that there is life in M-Pesa, contrary to what some people may believe. Hlalele also testified to that M-Pesa does not exclude anyone as he, as a street vendor, was not denied from being an agent.
“The profit that I make ranges around M400 as a street vendor, what more for someone with bigger business”?
Also ‘Malehlohonolo Monnanyane from Kolonyama Manganeng said when she started her business she did have any premises and was only selling sim cards and airtime. She explained that Vodacom helped her out with a container and that expanded into providing M-Pesa mobile money transfer services.
She said it seemed not a successful venture at first since she started in a rural place and according to most businesses in rural areas, businesses function better in towns. However, that was proven wrong when they started doing really well citing that because they sell sim cards, they were able to straight away register people for M-Pesa.
Executive Head of Department M-Pesa, Palesa Mphunyetsane, conveyed their gratitude as a company to all agents who have been working with them in providing the services conveniently to people. She further encouraged them to work even harder in future.