Recently, the area councilor for Itekeng Ward in Francistown, Lesego Kwambala, organized a business workshop for the youth and women of Francistown. The one day workshop, which was themed ‘Step Up and Explore Opportunities,’ attracted all business development organs among them Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry, and Manpower (BOCCIM), Citizen Enterpreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, Francistown City Council, the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), and a representative from the informal sector.
Speaking to Gazette Business on the sidelines of the workshop, Kwambala revealed that the objective was to disseminate information to people who are interested and willing to venture into business in order to improve their lives, and introduce them to different organizations that provide entrepreneurial development services for interaction and sharing of ideas. “Historically the youth and women have been marginalized and sidelined. That is why I have made this group my priority, I want them to take the lead in improving their lives. If we are going to kick out abject poverty, women and youth need special attention to encourage them to take the lead and catch up with their male counterparts,” explained Kwambala.
The workshop saw different speakers giving presentations on different aspects of business. Participants were given a chance to share their business ideas, challenges, experiences and breakthroughs in order to encourage one another. Councillor Kwambala pledged to support business ideas he deemed viable and see them to fruition.
“These workshop should not be in vain, I have to regularly check with this people and encourage them to turn their ideas into actual businesses. Once this first batch of people becomes successful, they will act as ambassadors,” said Kwambala.
He also revealed that the workshop was an eye opener to him as a leader and to stakeholders as they realized that most people are not aware of the many programs and services devised to assist aspiring entrepreneurs. Further more, Kwambala has pledged to continue doing all that is necessary to help the people. The District Commissioner’s office provided the venue, businessman Stanley Griesma paid for breakfast, and Councillor Kwambala paid for lunch. Kwambala indicated that the workshop falls within the confines of his recently launched Itekeng Vision 2018 which advocates for people to take the lead in their development.