New e-commerce platform for small businesses

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New e-commerce platform for small businesses
New e-commerce platform for small businesses

Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Econet Telecom Lesotho (ETL) will work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assist small businesses to trade globally through new e-commerce platforms.
The acting UNDP Resident Representative, Nessie Golakai Gould, said the UNDP has a long history and extensive experience in supporting the government of Lesotho and Lesotho communities.
“The UNDP’s support has been in various initiatives through different pillars of economic growth governance amongst others,” Gould said.
She said the UNDP has developed a new strategic plan 2022/2025, employing three enablers of digitilisation, strategic innovation and development financing as drivers of change.
She said the UNDP has also developed several digital solutions for the government of Lesotho in health, community policing, and some information systems.
She said this was to capture and analyse data to help strategic delivery of different ministerial mandates including the MSMEs database for the Ministry of Small Businesses and waste management information system.
“Based on this experience, it was imperative for the UNDP Lesotho to partner with private sector entities, particularly those in the ICT and telecom sectors like ETL,” she said.
She added that this was crucial to provide both technical support and any required resources.
She said the new MOU will support the UNDP Accelerator Lab Initiative which seeks to support and grow women-led enterprises in Lesotho.
She said this initiative named “Her Empire” which was established in May 2022 has enrolled 18 women who lead their own enterprises in different business sectors.
She said the main objective of the initiative is to ensure that women-led enterprises improve their business capacities so that they transform into iconic business frameworks pioneered by women.
She said this will enable women to compete at the highest level of service provision, including participation in public procurement processes.
“Covid-19 though devastating, has opened up technological opportunities for businesses, where we saw the rise in e-commerce,” she said.
She said this collaboration will assist in responding to some of the emerging issues faced by women-led small businesses while also enabling the generation of employment opportunities.
She said this collaboration will facilitate access to simple digital and mobile technology-based applications to enable community development and participation in national development programmes.
The chief executive officer of Econet Telecom Lesotho, Dennis Platjees, said ETL is in the process of digital transformation.
Therefore they have to be in a position to assist Basotho in small businesses, individuals and businesses to utilise digital services.
He said they had created a platform which will enable Basotho businesses to trade globally.
He said they had developed a platform that will first allow two women to ensure that their products are available country wide and globally.
He said within two to three months, over 200 businesses should be on the platform.
He said they will provide further support to such businesses to get funding for their products.

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