BY : Mosa Mojonothoane
The highly anticipated Entrepreneurship Hub and Seed Financing Facility will be launched next month.
This is according to the Private Sector Competitiveness and Economic Diversification (PSCED) Project Manager Chaba Mokuku in his reaction to the follow-up on its implementation.
He indicated that there is no tangible progress at the moment except for plans to launch it and open it for applications.
The Entrepreneurship Hub and Seed Financing Facility was introduced by the then Ministry of Trade and Industry – now Ministry of Trade, Industry, Business Development and Tourism – in September last year.
Financed by the World Bank with USD 52 million (M900 million) the facility seeks to implement the Competitiveness and Financial Facility Inclusion (CAFI) in a bid to develop a comprehensive entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country.
Women and youth are the main target for this project.
As communicated by the then Minister of Trade and Industry Thabiso Molapo during the introduction of the initiative, the Entrepreneurship Hub and Seed Financing Facility is another measure designed to strengthen compatibility, increase trade, promote investment, foster innovation and promote entrepreneurship in Lesotho.
Among other key transformations in the business sector, it will address the lack of access to business support, service and financial products in Lesotho, be an entrepreneurship knowledge hub and business incubator that will work with entrepreneurs to help them learn how to turn their ideas into an enterprise and increase access to business support services and financing that are targeted at the Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs, especially women and youth.
“Enhancing financial inclusion and resilience for MSMEs will improve access to financial services and enhance digital services to more effectively serve MSMEs, this will strengthen the resilience of MSMEs to climatic disasters and shocks,” Mokuku had said.
Meanwhile, the Government of Lesotho has, through and with relevant stakeholders, introduced capacity-building initiatives to support MSMEs. These include Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO)’s Business Plan Competition (BCP), Capacity Building Program and Venture Capital Financing as well as Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC)‘s Partial Credit Guarantee (PCG) and Quasi Equity Investment, Project Preparation Facility and Equity Finance which target large-scale businesses.