In a bid for economic diversification, the University of Botswana Business Clinic and Young Entrepreneurs, Spark International Business Clinic (SIBC), have collaborated to organise an entrepreneurship conference. The meeting is expected to “educate, motivate and agitate a strong spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the youth of Botswana,” said Tumelo Seabo, who is one of the organising committee members. Seabo said they decided to come up with the conference because despite Botswana’s sound economic growth since independence in 1966, much of its growth has been driven by the precarious foundation of the unstable mining sector, dominated by the diamond mining sector. He said this has left Botswana in compromised and vulnerable economic situations because mining commodity sales are subject to sometimes depressing market fluctuations. Seabo elaborated that the problem is coupled and fuelled by lack of entrepreneurship zeal among the public, especially the youth as they have been warped by the culture of ‘going to school and getting a job’. “Even though when there is endeavor from the youth to venture into business, there is a high rate and occurrence of unsuccessful start-ups which is a result of weak business and entrepreneurship background and support structures,” hence we came up with this conference to address some of these challenges, Seabo further explained.
To reconcile these two related and urgent persuasions, Seabo said, they have found it fit to have a conference that will mainly be focused on developing and mentoring entrepreneurship amongst the youth on unexploited sectors of property, IT, tourism, marketing and other business sectors so as to help Botswana’s diversification efforts and also instill prudent and focused entrepreneurship ideals amongst the youth. “Even though it will be focused on unexploited sectors, we will make sure that it is relevant to the entrepreneur from any background,” he said. Adam Smith, the owner of Wealth Magazine, who will be the keynote speaker at the conference, said the conference will help willing entrepreneurs start up or soldier on confidently with their business ideas.
“The corporate sector alone cannot absorb all graduates coming out of UB and other colleges; therefore it’s important to help them go into businesses and other job creative initiatives,” Smith said. Smith advised all those who aspire to be entrepreneurs to have passion and be obsessed with the success of their businesses, further warning that there are challenges in every business but one should remain focused at all times.
Some of Botswana’s top entrepreneurs featured at the conference are Solly Reiketseng of Itekanele Health Scheme, Mpho Balopi of Native impressions and Majakathata Pheko of Oseg Group.