Members of the business community in Mochudi, a peri-urban village some 40 kilometers north of Gaborone, were yesterday warned against the tendency of playing “boss” for nothing, only to be exploited by foreigners using their business premises and licenses, in spite of the immense opportunities, the government has rendered for their own empowerment.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Neo Moroka, said that the government is aware of some local business people who have only a name to their licenses, and own the business infrastructure but the actual people running the show are foreigners who only pay a relatively nominal fee in reciprocation to the real property owners.
As a result, he said, such people miss out both in terms of exposure to the real challenges one needs to emerge as a successful business person, as well as the benefits of utilizing opportunities available to them in the form of financial and other support from Government that are supposed to be the exclusive preserve of locals.
“Instead, we now have a situation whereby foreigners ride on the backs of willing locals to utilize schemes meant for citizens, in addition to the unimpeded advantage of cheaper facilities,” said Moroka.
Locals, must make up their mind and either own up and seek help from institutions like LEA to enhance the business skills required by the projects they have chosen or, rather, diversify than adopt the dangerous attitude of being bosses who “live on some paltry token amounts of appreciation from the foreigners in their stoop”.
Moroka said in order to overcome the obstacles that hold them back as well as the challenges they encounter in their businesses, it is imperative that they recognize the need to be selective and focused rather than adopt decisions that could make them think it is the type of businesses they chose that are problematic, consequently giving up prematurely on their initiatives.
It was also stated that to achieve such focus, due consideration must be given to the various factors that contribute to success.
“Of all the factors involved, discipline is the most critical in that it offers one a basis for persisting in spite of any perceived threats, since the investor would be tied to their stated vision,” said Moroka.
Against this background and having traversed the length and breath of their envisaged business vision, one would then be able to determine whether they are doing well or not.
However, “The problem with most people is that they do not have the discipline to endure and, instead, they want to go for quick money, and therefore prefer to venture into what others are already doing than to initiate their own vision,” said Moroka.