A Procurement Specialist in the Ministry of Local Government, Peter Sebolao, the past week cautioned the youth who aspire to be entrepreneurs to desist from the negative mentality of assuming that they are entitled to participate in supplying and procurement tenders just by virtue of their being Batswana.
Motivating participants during a one day successful Gabane Youth Business Pitso, Sebolao said in order for them to be nationally, regionally and even internationally competitive they should be accommodative of foreign investors.
“It should come from within, that you become an entrepreneur of repute. Be prepared to compete with experienced investors. Do market research and network,” said Sebolao , adding that they should read documents like PPAD and LAPAD Acts so that you know which legislation is governing their area of operation. The former governs Ministry (Central government) tenders while the latter governs local government tenders.
Seboalo bemoaned the fact that here is lack of commitment in Batswana, especially the youth. They have the tendency to abandon contracts. Sometimes, he said at the initial stage the young entrepreneurs bring quality products; but after a while in the business, their products become sub-standards. This he observed, is often attributable to low prices with which they bid for tenders.
“It is not wise to bid with low prices because within a short period of time you will start negotiating for increase which we cannot grant in less than 12 months,” he said.
The event was Gabane Youth Business Pitso’s second and it proved a progressive endeavor as there were ‘Pitso Stars’ who testified of how the past event boosted their businesses and career. Following the event last year, they got wide media coverage which brought them business.
“I have since had seen customers coming to my farm. One of them came and booked the whole of my pond. Another would come with a truck and get truck load of vegetables,” said Bonosi Selotlegeng, a young female farmer who has orchard, vegetable garden and fish farm.