By: Thandiwe Kubere

The Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO) and Lesotho Institute of Accountants signed a Memorandum of Understanding the previous week, which connoted the institutions’ commitment to providing Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises with the necessary support to thrive in their businesses. This initiative, comes as a continual effort to ensuring that small businesses are empowered with essential skills which will see to their success.

The initiative came after realizing the common challenges which are encountered by MSMEs in Lesotho. Those challenges eventually hinder their growth and sustainability. “We recognise that MSMEs are the engines of our economy, and their growth and success are critical for the prosperity of our country, However, we are aware of the challenges they face”, said the acting Chief Executive Officer of BEDCO, Tšepang Tlali.

Those include lack of finances for growth, limited knowledge of marketing and inappropriate financial management. Therefore, the skills which will be offered and acquired by the MSME trainees include financial management, record- keeping, budgeting, accounting and strategic planning, which are foundational elements of any successful business.

Tlali indicated that MSMEs will be provided with access to high quality expertise that might otherwise not have had. He also highlighted that there will be opportunities for mentorship and skills development because LIA trainees will not only provide support, but also learn from BEDCO’s MSME’s.

He emphasized that the agreement was not just a piece of paper but a commitment to change, grow and empower. He further said, “I invite Basotho entrepreneurs to join us in this exciting journey and take advantage of this opportunity. Let us embrace this partnership with open hearts and open minds. Together we will create an ecosystem where our MSMEs not only survive but thrive, where they become a cornerstone of a prosperous Lesotho.”

Giving his remarks, the Executive Head Enterprise development of BEDCO, Lemphane Lesoli declared that a business has to keep every record in order to succeed. He noted that records have to be well-maintained, calculated, analysed and processed with the help of experts so that the business runs well and can be accounted for hence mutual understanding with experts in fields such as book-keeping and accounting is highly advised.

He affirmed that both BEDCO and LIA are celebrating the signing of the MoU because both the institutions have developed and drafted it for a long time in order to assist Basotho businesses through training and enhanced entrepreneurial skills for those who want to do bookkeeping. “We also expect bookkeepers who will be trained under this agreement to have a broader knowledge of business,” Lesoli said.

The collaboration between the organisations assured to foster innovation and creativity. Lesoli asserted that when young, talented professionals from LIA work hand in hand with MSMEs, they bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. Therefore, the synergy of experience and innovation will drive forward-thinking solutions and help MSMEs remain competitive in an ever-evolving business environment.

LIA Chief Executive Lethola Mokete said the partnership came with LIA realising a lot of capacity building initiatives that BEDCO does with local businesses to fund, train and capacitate Basotho businesses on how to run businesses effectively and efficiently.

Mokete said LIA observed and figured that they too could add value in such initiatives. “This initiative with BEDCO is important because it guarantees the BEDCO leadership also assurance that the people they will be working with are capable. Also, that the same people are regulated such that the guidance they will receive is proven because the experience by members of LIA is vetted by a code of ethics”, he said.

The organizations collaborated to provide business development services through three arms; those who have qualifications, who have practical experience and those with ethics.