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Olopeng urges youth to venture beyond borders

Olopeng urges youth to venture beyond borders
February 19
14:04 2018

OAITSE MATHALA

Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng has encouraged young entrepreneurs to venture into business partnerships with other organisations across the SADC region, which will in turn bring them enormous financial benefits.

Olopeng was speaking recently at the 5th anniversary celebrations for the Business Kraal, a local company founded by a young Motswana woman, Neo Tlhaselo, which promotes entrepreneurship and private sector development in Botswana, as well as also educating on entrepreneurship and business development, and discusses global markets and foreign investment opportunities.

He pointed to the fact that Botswana has a small population, hence a small market for their products; therefore it is crucial for them to focus on the regional market.

“I believe a time has come for youth enterprises to venture beyond our borders into SADC. This can be made possible by youth enterprises forging strategic partnerships with other entrepreneurs across the region. I can assure you that commercial banks and other financial institutions await an opportunity to invest in businesses that expand into the region, because of the advantages that the SADC demographics bring to business. For example, the SADC population of 277 million is great factor that can convince any investor to consider a business expanding into the SADC region,” the Minister said.

He said his wish is to see young people becoming self-reliant and highly productive. He added; “Government is doing everything to support and empower young people. So much is available for them to succeed. Government is providing funding, and social media is at their disposal to freely market their products and services.”

Olopeng advised that the mindset that access to funding is the key to success is not tenable, “because it is fundamentally incorrect. It is not always about giving the young people funding, but about them getting access to sustainable partnerships and connections with the right networks in business.”

He encouraged the resilience that he says is shown by Tlhaselo and the way she handles the Business Kraal, pointing out that this is a great motivation to the young Batswana entrepreneurs. The Business Kraal forged strong partnerships with embassies and other various stakeholders for it to grow.

Tlhaselo started the business from her savings, and Olopeng encouraged her to continue with the hard work. The minister ended by urging the private sector to support government on policies such as the Economic Diversification Drive.

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