BY CEDRIC SWANKA
Government has reiterated its commitment to provide a conducive environment for youth economic empowerment during this year`s fourth annual youth business expo held in Gaborone recently.
Giving a keynote address Vice president Slumber Tsogwane said the expo held under the theme “Brand it, market it, win it” aims to promote the practice of branding.
“Branding is the foundation for a successful business, as it creates an image for the business and product. This facilitates success as it is a marketing strategy and this expo is a testimony to this commitment as we partner with the private sector to grow youth entrepreneurship space.” He said.
“Youth promoters have the potential to produce quality products, but often face challenges of market access and branding for their products and services. Poor business networks among youth owned businesses hamper their potential for growth and success. Therefore this expo promotes youth business products as well as to equip them with business administration skills to build their brand,” Vice President Tsogwane said.
The Vice president mentioned that “the expo calls upon the youth to adopt new strategies in branding and packaging that make their products different from their competitors.
“Your branding strategy should create a unique niche in the market through leveraging various communication platforms such as website design, brochure or flyer design,” he said.
Assistant Minister in the Ministry Of Youth, Sport and Culture Development Philip Makgalemele said the expo is hosted in partnership with sponsors in the private sector, to afford the youth in business an opportunity to showcase their products and services to build a market and network for their products.
“Engagement and participation of our youth is essential to achieving sustainable economic development, as young people can be the drivers of change and can be drivers of economic growth. They are part of the solution to our country`s problems such as food security, manufacturing and diversification strategies,” Makgalemele said.
Makgalemele further said: “Self-run enterprises are essential and add value to the country`s economic sphere. I am delighted by the response youth from across the country, in urban and rural areas. As we achieved our attributed target of having 300 exhibitors just like last year.”
“Indeed the Youth Business expo is growing bigger and better as shown by the diversity of exhibits displayed by our young people. We should appreciate that some ideas take time to bear fruit and there will be obstacles along the way. If you talk to many successful business they will tell you of the obstacles they met along the way,” Makgalemele said.
“Some ideas may seem promising but turn out to be unsuccessful but don’t give persevere, it is part and parcel of innovation and entrepreneurship. To succeed in this dynamic landscape and vibrant economy, we must have a culture that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship supporting people who are willing to try even if they fail to bounce back and do better next time,” Makgalemele said.
In closing the junior minister said, “I want to assure the young people in business and young people of Botswana that as Government we will continue to do everything possible to make sure you succeed in business.”