Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO) launched its women mentorship programme this week in a quest to redefine women entrepreneurship in Lesotho
The program is aimed at young women entrepreneurs who won M100, 000 each in seed capital to develop their high-potential business projects in April 2022, to retain, advance, and be supported by already successful women entrepreneurs in Lesotho.
Fifty entrepreneurs were named winners in a business plan competition conducted by the BEDCO and supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the Economic Diversification Support Project (EDSP).
Initially launched in 2019 with 10 innovative winners awarded M100,000 each to develop their business projects, the second round of the competition saw the number of winners increases to 50.
With total prize money of M5 million, the competition aimed to tackle youth unemployment by supporting them with grants to start micro, small to medium businesses (MSMEs).
It mainly targeted youth and women.
BEDCOâ€™s youth development programme manager, â€˜Majubere Mofolo, said the mentorship programme was developed after the business plan competition ended as a way to assist the winners.
BEDCO Executive Head of Enterprise, Lemphane Lesoli, also reiterated that the women mentorship program was aimed at assisting upcoming entrepreneurs with the key interest of growing their businesses through mentorship.
Lesoli said the programme was launched in August â€œto commemorate womenâ€™s monthâ€.
Tiisetso Sefatsane, one of the mentees, lauded BEDCO for granting them an opportunity to learn from established business leaders.
Sefatsane said the program was going to help them to grow as entrepreneurs.