By:Mpho Shelile

Entrepreneurship Day is celebrated on November 19 annually to recognize the achievement of entrepreneurs and to support their efforts in building their business ventures. A day which has been coined to celebrate innovation and empowerment of entrepreneurship and leadership throughout the world. Entrepreneurship is crucial not just for job creation but an essential part of our economic growth. 

On this special day, to motivate, inspire and challenge entrepreneurs to reach for greater heights of accomplishment and creativity Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) joint by ECONET, VODACOM, BEDCO, FNB, LNDC, Post Bank, NEDBANK and many more held an event at their campus to celebrate and acknowledge entrepreneur’s achievements and contributions in building the Lesotho we want. With the hope that the next generation might be inspired to launch their business model and take the country’s economy to greater heights.

In his opening remarks, ADV. Tefo Macheli the vice chancellor of LUCT stressed that this day means that they are driving innovation and entrepreneurship, adding that LUCT has changed the entire education sector by being the first school to encourage entrepreneurship and succeed tremendously. “We believe that entrepreneurship will ensure community and economic growth in Lesotho, we have alumni’s who create jobs for themselves and those around them, and they opted to be job creators rather than job seekers”, he stressed that LUCT does not entertain failure, in fact what they do is use their failure as something that fuels their ambition and fosters growth.

Also advising them to beware of their mental and psychological health since it is crucial when dealing with issues like starting a business, “We know that entrepreneurship is challenging! It is stressful, exciting, scary, and fun. Entrepreneurship has many emotions, with its ups and downs. There is never a dull day, one of the primary mental health challenges that entrepreneurs face is stress. Building a business from scratch requires juggling multiple responsibilities, managing finances, handling uncertainties, and dealing with intense pressure to succeed. This constant pressure can lead to burnout, anxiety, and even depression. It’s important to acknowledge that stress is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey, but it’s equally important to manage it effectively” he then advised the learners and entrepreneurs to embrace failure as a learning opportunity, adding that entrepreneurship is a journey filled with both successes and failures. Instead of letting failures define them, they should view them as opportunities for growth and learning. “Develop a resilient mindset that allows you to bounce back from setbacks”, he concluded.

Mrs. Lisema Ramaili said LUCT has transformed Lesotho’s educational system, adding that their main objective is to inspire young, smart and intelligent learners as they are the future. We want to see them thrive in the business industry, she said that entrepreneurship is a catalyst in our world to which will change it into a better place. “We also have a youth incubation program which we will use to give the youth access to finance and market with events like this one.”

 Representative from BEDCO Mrs. Mohapeloa Nkoane said BEDCO aim to foster an entrepreneurial culture among young people, as well as nurturing them to be future business leaders. “We offer aspiring entrepreneurs a good opportunity to unleash their potential by kick-starting their ventures and honing their business skills.” Adding on she indicated that they have implemented entrepreneurship programs which assist small businesses by offering them capacity building, sustainability and advisory services to make sure they know what do to if ever their businesses fail at the first go. 

She also advised them to never use business money for their personal needs, because that is one key which has let many businesses to shut down. “Knowledge of financial concepts like saving, investing, spending and borrowing is the foundation of financial literacy that can make a huge impact in one’s business, so we make sure to equip our clients with such knowledge and in addition, understanding credit management, asset building and how to reduce debt and avoid scams which is critical to achieving  healthy financial deals.” she stated that they empower the youth with the tools they need to break down economic barriers and lead financially secure lives. They also empower them with the knowledge and skills required to make responsible financial decisions, so that they enjoy financial stability in the future.

Mrs. Masakoane Hanyane, a representative from FNB indicated that it is through entrepreneurship they can put an end to lack of employment facing the youth, and help with the economic growth of the country. “I know that the journey you have embarked on is not an easy one, there will be lots of financial challenges you will stumble upon but bear in mind that taking one step at a time will not only help you learn but will also give you an opportunity to develop better ideas for when you get back up.”  Financial institution believes in providing care to communities they operate in by supporting and enriching individuals irrespective of their age.

“We have interventions in place such as financial literacy and debt consolidation and reintegration”, she went on to say that FNB had seen the need to start financial education at an early age to equip the young generation with crucial financial skills and knowledge that are essential for making informed financial decisions throughout their lives and become robust entrepreneurs.

ADV. Leisa Leseinyane advised them on accountability, that they need to be willing to take full responsibilities of whatever they may encounter in the future, “make sure you learn about intellectual property for beginners, it is crucial to know what it means.” He then advised them about branding and how important it is for their business identity, “Your brand is arguably one of your organization’s most important assets. It gives your organization an identity, makes your business memorable, encourages consumers to buy from you, supports your marketing and advertising.” He concluded by wishing all entrepreneurs the best in their future endeavors and encouraged them to use the connections they had made on the day to make sure that their businesses thrive.