Some local businesses have lauded as very positive the move by the First National Bank (FNB) to launch an initiative to offer them M1million as aid for their development.
Ten small businesses will be selected and will stand a chance of winning a share of M1 million from the FNB. This funding is not a loan but grant to boost small businesses. In addition, the bank will provide the winners with a mentorship program to ensure that they are equipped with managing and running their businesses during these tough economic times.
According to the FNB CEO, Delekazi Mokebe, the competition is open to businesses in the agricultural sector, manufacturing sector, events management sector and the tourism sector.
â€œThese sectors amongst many others hold and shape the economy of Lesotho. We believe that Basotho has the skill and ability to build strong businesses which will contribute to the sector, and ultimately the economyâ€ explained the Mokebe.
To enter, the business should have been in operation for a minimum of three years with a clear financial track record, should have at least three employees including the owner and have an annual turnover of below M2 Million. The competition is open to all Basotho owned businesses including non FNB customers.
Alosang enterprise, a Basotho-owned hoticulture business that has over ten employees and will partake in the competition hosted by FNB, is very positive about the bankâ€™s move.
According to the owner, â€˜Matiki Latola, Alosang Enterprise has been running since 2013 and has over fifty employees. She pointed out that their business has benefitted a lot of Basotho including major chain stores as well as street vendors hence “if we were to win the competition, the money would definitely help to speed up the process of buying necessary equipment.” concluded Latola.
Meanwhile, Lekhalong Natural Spring water, a small water bottling business that has only five employees, but has a good financial track record and has the required financial attributes necessary to qualify for the FNB competition is also on record singing praises of the financial services giant.
Newsday newspaper had an interview with Lekhalong Natural Spring water’s â€˜Mantebele Malebo who lauded the move.
â€œThis kind of competition would help boost my business a lot because we are currently doing everything manually, if we were to enter and win, my business will have enough money to purchase the necessary equipment. the equipment will help increase our capacity,” Malebo emphasized.