BY PATIENCE RADISOENG
Kgalagadi Beverages Trust (“KBT”), the corporate social investment arm of Kgalagadi Breweries (Pty) Ltd (KBL) has confirmed the return of its entrepreneurial development programme ÔÇô KickStart.
The programme was stopped a four years back after running for quite some time. The youth entrepreneurial development programme was launched by KBT in 2004 and is aimed at youth who either want to start businesses or expand their existing ones.
Corporate affairs manager of Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL)-Masegonyana Madisa said last week during the re-launch of the programme that it has helped create jobs thereby improving local incomes and the welfare of young entrepreneurs.
KickStart was rolled out through KBL’s social responsible investment scheme – Kgalagadi Beverages Trust (KBT) and later stopped in 2015 due to financial constraints.
Speaking during the media tour of some successful beneficiaries of the programme; Madisa stated that they have trained about 300 potential youth entrepreneurs since the commencement of the programme.
Yet, he stated that out of 300 youths they managed to fund a total of 75 where 70 percent of them are still operating now.
He said they are aiming to change the lives of young people and empower them for the future as they give coaching and mentorship to ensure sustainability for a period of 12 months.
“When assessing the contestants we consider people who are passionate of what they are doing, people who have strength and focus. And the funding goes towards project capitalization, mentorship, training and ensuring the successful delivery of the project,” he said.
Madisa further stated that kickstart is open to Batswana youth aged between 18 and 35 then sixty (60) percent of the funds is reserved for youthful females and fourty (40) percent for males.
He also mentioned that eligible candidates need to complete an official entry form online before the deadline on June 15, 2019 and the youth should note that submissions will only be processed online.
Through the programme, they are giving grants which range from P10, 000 up to P200, 000.
Meanwhile the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo who officially opened the launch of kickstart started that small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) play an important entrepreneurial role of providing for the specific needs of local consumers, large business and corporates.
She noted; “it is often regaled how Botswana’s future economic prospects and the diversification of the economy rested heavily upon the development and promotion of SMME’s.”
Kenewendo also stated that as the ministry, they want to build the partnerships that will help them to ensure that there is development of smme’s in Botswana.
“Smme’s is one sector that both locally and internationally are engines of work and they can help us reach our goals of job creation and poverty eradication,” she said.
She as well said they also want to invest in young people entrepreneurial talents as financing and mentorship are some of the key challenges when it comes to entrepreneurship today.