By Thandiwe Kubere

MASERU – Global consultancy in partnership with renowned companies in the country, will hold a knowledge-sharing event where different services will be offered free of charge to people who have an interest in venturing into business. The workshop will equip small business owners with the skills of running a business successfully. This will be held on September 19th, at Mohale’s Hoek hall.

The Managing Director of global solutions, ‘Musa Maema, says the initiative, since its inception in 2019, was formulated as a way of giving back to the community by bringing to them the services they need and proving solutions to problems they struggle with. The intention was to hold this workshop annually moving around the ten districts of Lesotho, however was slowed down and gravely affected by the covid-19 pandemic. The initiative was inspired through the company’s identified gap of issues hindering the country’s economic growth which led to the company seeking ways of solving those problems.  

After conducting research, they realized that the common challenges standing in the way of the growth and success of small businesses in Lesotho include shortage of appropriate tools/equipment and skills for managing a business, the lack of accountability, budgeting, pricing and marketing. “Marketing is a broad term that consists of many concepts including creating awareness and branding your business, so sometimes people do not know the right way of doing that”, Mr. Maema said. They therefore will bring different service providers including banks, financial experts and advisors, insurance companies and the Lesotho Institute of Accounts to assist and give proper guidance on matters which will result in their businesses’ growth.

“This time, instead of entrepreneurs knocking at their individual office doors, the services will be brought as a package right on their door steps. At times you find that they get assistance on services they had always longed for. We are now living in the era of the forth industrial revolution and the time of people going around to different buildings for services is over and this is why we decided reach out to them.”

Here those present will get a free chance of utilizing services which are normally paid for including; consultations for marketing, accounting, business management and more. “We want to share our knowledge and skills, which we normally charge for. We started this journey at Mafeteng which turned out a success. We have since gotten feedback from people who see progress and growth in their businesses and gave us a green light that we are on the right path. People have also called us seeking help to register their companies and it has been a success.

The shared knowledge and skills from different service providers are not the only benefits associated with this initiative, employment comes as part of the package. People with influencing and marketing skills from the various districts will also attain employment. “We have made an announcement that we will select five who have the most abilities of convincing and influencing as well as observing their track record.” Mr. Maema deliberated that the final day for selecting and sourcing out candidates will be on the 15th of July because they have to start working on the 1st of August. 

Since the event assures to have prominent people and organizations engaged, the project of LRA, Standard Lesotho bank and BEDCO and other stakeholders which funds youth businesses will be assessed as to whether the funding process is carried out appropriately and whether it is making the difference it is intended to. “At times it is found that some proposals get funded just because a person has excellent writing skills however lacks properly execution or implement. The aim is to also restructure so that even those who possesses some skills but lack in other departments have a potential of succeeding in business are assisted so that they get an equal chance of benefiting”, he stipulated.

There are a lot of promised benefits to the community of Mohale’s Hoek which include; circulation of money in the district in a form of organizers buying meals, booking venues and accommodation and buying different products from entrepreneurs. 

To make this event a success, the companies will be working hand in hand with the small businesses associations in Mohale’s Hoek in order to hear their concerns and to figure out what kind of assistant they need to make this initiative as impactful as possible. We will also be working with the district council in order assist in sensitizing the community, therefore, we hope people will show up in large numbers.