Africa-Press – Lesotho. Following the launch of Business Plan Competition (BPC) 2nd cohort, Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO) has on Thursday hosted Youth Enterprises Engagement Session with the purpose to discuss interventions the Youth Development project aimed at helping them with access to finance and business development services. BEDCO Marketing, Communications and Stakeholder engagement Manager Mpoi
explained that towards the end of 2020, BEDCO launched a five year strategic plan within which capacitating youth entrepreneurs was to be prioritized
She emphasized that this session was intended to engage young people so that they can table their inputs in the business projects implemented by BEDCO to youth. In other news, BEDCO Executive Head Enterprise Development Lemphane Lesoli announced that BEDCO had, in 2021, applied for funding from the
Development Bank, which was envisaged to solve cooperate challenges facing Basotho, especially unemployed youth and women. He encouraged the youth to use of these opportunities and join the competitions. Lesoli said the sessions are intended to increase the chances for more youth to benefit from the funds, and win capital injections to grow their existing or upcoming businesses. He noted that BEDCO provides business development support services because for a business to grow, it requires certain pillars such as market, funding and exportation
He added that they provide business incubation and their target is to help 1 250 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) per year, through capacity building and introduction to access to finance, of business support services and helping others to get necessary machines for their businesses. BEDCO Youth Enterprise Development Project, Project Manager ‘Majubere Mugandani in 2019 after implementing their strategic plan, they initiated a few projects such as BPC, Bacha Entrepreneurship Project (BEP) and Smart Youth Fund (SYF).
The projects were initiated to alleviate lack of access to finance as one of businesses’ biggest challenge and the worst for young people who have just graduated,” she said. Paulina Nkokana, a youth who participated in the session, whose business sells eggs,
chicken meat, pork and waffles, said the main reason she decided to join the Youth Enterprises Engagement Session was to engage with business minded people
in order to grow more business ideas and skills. ” I am also planning to apply for the BPC because I plan to buy equipment for making waffles and toasts. I currently use only two machines and they delay the production,” she said, adding that she also plans to extend her business.