Africa-Press – Botswana. After last week’s launch of the Chema Chema Fund by Vice President, Mr Slumber Tsogwane in Maun, scores of Bakwena informal sector entrepreneurs on Monday congregated at the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) offices to register for the fund.

The fund is intended and designed to elevate informal sector entrepreneurs to a higher standard and income.

In an interview, LEA Molepolole branch manager, Mr Joseph Lennwe, said they registered more than 400 informal sector traders before lunch break on Monday, and that all feasible business ideas would be funded.

However, Mr Lennwe said there was an age limit and that those aged 18 years and above were eligible to apply.

Mr Lennwe said every loan would be due to be repaid within six or 12 months depending on the amount applied for.

He noted that once one had registered at LEA, a notification would be sent to acknowledge the registration. He said after approval, a client would be referred to the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) where their business idea would be assessed and funded after about two days if approved. However, he said, those successful would go through a business course first on how to run their businesses effectively and to repay back their loans as agreed.

One of those who registered on Monday, Mr Tirayaone Lekgoanyana, said he registered because he was in the informal sector and had a poultry project, adding that he was looking forward to the fund to help him grow.

Ms Dipogiso Mmonane, who is an informal entrepreneur, complained of the slow process of registration and suggested that senior citizens should be helped first because they had health issues.

A youthful Ms Bofelo Oganne said she would employ other youth if funded in order to reduce the number of unemployed people.

Mr Lennwe said registration could be done physically at their offices or online using the link to avoid long queues and that both methods were effective.

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