BY: ‘Mamohaila Rampo


Due to the high rate of unemployment among youth in Lesotho, the College of Cooperative Entrepreneurship and Business Studies (CCEBS) has conferred diploma certificates to 17 graduates that are ready to start up their own businesses.

CCEBS prides itself in creating meaningful opportunities for its students by encouraging entrepreneurship and cooperatives among them. In an interview with Informative Newspaper, CCEBS Founder Mpitseng ‘Mateboho Khama said it is the institute’s mandate to encourage youth to start their own businesses other than to wait for employment.

Khama stated that the institution shapes opportunities and provides leadership skills to create economic and social value to students hence the unique curriculum they use. The three years curriculum includes courses like Cooperative Entrepreneurship, Micro Finance Management and Production and Manufacturing.

She said the unique curriculum gives opportunities to students in their final academic year to own mini-financial institutions that loan out money and start cooperatives. As for production and manufacturing students, khama said they learn to produce food, detergents and cosmetics from scratch, the products are then shared among themselves upon graduation as a business startup for each student.

Thus far, the CCEBS has 60 grandaunts since its establishment, of which 20 have furthered their studies in other institutions, while some are employed at various financial institutions including Cooperatives, 10 are self-employed, producing food, detergents and cosmetics while the remaining 14 are yet to determine what they have to do going forward.

Listing the institution’s achievements, khama said they have assisted in capacitating International Organization of Migration (IOM) by training 150 people who were at the risk of migration and human trafficking to produce cosmetics, food, detergents and traditional attires.

Overall Performer in Micro-Finance Management is Liekolo Mokhafola, Overall Performer in Cooperative Entrepreneurship is ‘Mathabo Toloane lastly the Overall Performer Productions and Manufacturing Management is ‘Mantšali Tseka.

CCEBS Founder said the batch of graduates that have just graduated faced a lot of challenges, among others was the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the course started with 35 students but only 17 managed to graduate.

“Due to lack of financial support, some students had to drop out of school because a lot of parents lost their jobs during the pandemic and they were unable to pay fees. We even had to improvise and allow parents to recompense for fees in exchange for livestock,” said Khama

She said another challenge that resulted in multiple dropouts was lack of provision of sponsorships from the National Manpower Develop Secretariat (NMDS), which is a Department under the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) mandated to provide loan bursaries to deserving Basotho students wishing to pursue higher education and training.