The co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Made in Lesotho Retail Cooperative (MILCO) has hailed Bacha Entrepreneurship Project (BEP) after winning M216 260 in seed funding from the competition.
â€˜Makoena Lesia told Newsday this week that the funding would come handy in aiding the development of their fairly new business venture.
MILCO is a planned cooperative chain store to sell locally produced products only. It was created by and incubated under the National University of Lesothoâ€™s Innovation Hub.
Its first pop -up store is currently under construction at Sefika Shopping Complex.
Lesia said she enjoyed herself during the competition although at times it was rigorous and challenging especially when it came to pitching business ideas.
BEP is a collaborative effort between Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL), Standard Lesotho Bank and Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO).
It is meant to tackle youth unemployment by supporting young entrepreneurs with funding and technical assistance in order to turn them into job creators and not job seekers.
The annual competition awards 10 winning enterprises to share M2 million funding each year. MILCO was among the ten winning enterprises that were announced last week.
â€œThe business training was important and fun because one did what they are passionate about. With the M216 260 funding that we won, we will direct it to some of the priorities of our new business, when we receive it,â€ Lesia said.
The rest of the BEP winners are STKTM Solutions which won M235 000; Ata Trading (M197 000); Sus Tech (M192 900); Mamello Special Needs Centre (M125 810); Masia Investment Group (M198 430); Therapy Hub (M160 000); Bits Board Interior (M200 000); Sum Adventures (M218 800), and S&M Solutions which won M208 980.
Speaking at the BEP awarding ceremony last week, RSL representative Obed â€˜Nete said:
â€œThis initiative is meant to empower the youth, so my words to the beneficiaries is that you have established these businesses for a specific purpose, you have skills, you have been mentored, and you have been coached.
â€œThrough this journey you should always remember why you started, never take your eyes off the ball, and we will be there to support you. And also to those who didnâ€™t make it, you have the education and the skill to come back and try again next time,â€ â€˜Nete said.
BEP started in 2014, and has to date invested M6 million in youth empowerment.