Mooketsi Benedict Tekere, a young Francistown entrepreneur is slowly making his mark in the global business podium through his business, Ngwana Enterprise.
The company which he started in 2009 is located in Ngilichi House along the busy Haskins Street in Francistown. The services offered by this company include among others fostering innovation in entrepreneurship through education, technology, supporting and mentoring of start ups.
Through his business, Tekere is also the national host of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Botswana. Last year he achieved what most of his peers dream of when he signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) with the Global Entrepreneurship Week organization in Moscow (Russia), becoming the first Motswana to host the Global Entrepreneurship Week in the country.
Although the GEW had previously been celebrated in Botswana, there had been no official host.
The Global Entrepreneurship Week initiative (GEW) which was established in 2008 is the largest celebration of job creators and innovators across the world. The objective of GEW is to launch start ups in an endeavor to bring ideas to life, propel economic growth and further increase human welfare. The initiative is fully supported by the United States (US) government.
GEW is normally held each week of November in different countries across the world. This imitative is also geared at inspiring people across the world through local, national and global activities designed to aid them to explore their potential as self starters and innovators. Some of the activities involved in this initiative include large scale competitions and events to promote networking, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. This also helps the participants by exposing them to new possibilities and opportunities.
Speaking to the Sunday Standard last week in an interview the clearly elated Tekere said that the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) initiative has hitherto helped him to network with international entrepreneurs and has helped him expose his business globally.
“My active involvement in this initiative has helped me to access global programmes such as the Start Up Weekend which helps to unleash talent and develop entrepreneurs through skill empowerment across the globe,” he added.
He also said that he has benefited from programmes such as Get in the Ring Competition, an international competition which gives businessmen opportunities to get funding. One of the benefits, he said it is the fact that he now sits in the board of one of the biggest entrepreneur organizations in Africa, Lions Africa.
“My active participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Week iniatiative has with no doubt exposed me to a lot of golden opportunities,” he said.
Tekere revealed that he will be attending a four day, Global Entrepreneurship Congress organized by GEW organization in Italy (Milan) which will be held in March this year as part of his efforts to network with giant entrepreneurs across the globe.
“These are the kind of events that we should be attending as entrepreneurs in Botswana because they are an eye opener. They introduce entrepreneurs to opportunities and they help nurture creativity and innovation among entrepreneurs. They help entrepreneurs to network, share ideas and learn from each other on a broader spectrum. I believe this is yet another opportunity for me as an entrepreneur to network with entrepreneurs across the globe because it is a big event,” said Tekere.
According to Tekere the Global Entrepreneurship Congress will host global business tycoons such as, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, the President of Global Entrepreneurship Week iniatitive, Jonathan Ortmans, Presidents, ministers and delegates from various countries and academics.
Among some of the topics which will be discussed at the event, he said they will discuss on building a more visible and government backed network of entrepreneurs and sharing new ideas on how to help countries attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Tekere said that it is high time that government inculcates a culture of entrepreneurship among children in schools so that they can grow up to start their own business. He said by empowering the youth with entrepreneurial skills, Botswana can be able to boost its economy as the youth will grow up with a culture of starting their own businesses.
“I also want to invite interested parties or companies who are interested in this Global Entrepreneurship Week initiative to link up with me and perhaps attend these important congresses,” he said.
In conclusion Tekere implored the government to be more supportive in empowering the youth with entrepreneurship skills. He said entrepreneurship has the potential to turn around the fortunes of Botswana and help reduce poverty and unemployment.