The University of Botswana Business Clinic recently launched the Entrepreneurship Training Program “NEXT STEP”, aimed at empowering graduate students to tap into their entrepreneurship abilities and venture into business.
When giving a background of the project, business student Lone Sedio said that they realized that many students take graduation as a time when they should start job hunting, and hardly ever think about starting their own enterprises.
“As a result, the job markets are flooded and many graduates end up spending years without formal employment. So, we thought we might teach students that entrepreneurship is another way through which they can earn a living” she said.
The UB Business Clinic partnered with the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and approached sponsors for this initiative. Other sponsors were Sunday Standard and Native Impressions.
A Representative from Native Impressions, Mpho Balopi embraced and encouraged the students to make best use of the programme in order to archive their goals, as the program is in line with the nation’s vision 2016.
“The launch of this entrepreneurship programme is a fundamental step towards ending dependence on government” he said.
Graduating students were encouraged to register for the program, and only 300 applicants will be selected to attend an entrepreneurship awareness workshop. After the awareness workshop, participants will go through a screening test at LEA and only 50 finalists will go through intensive training on business planning framework, access to market readiness, validation of personal entrepreneurship and access to finance readiness.
After the intensive training, finalists will be given time to prepare and develop the business plans with the guidance from the UBBC. LEA will then submit the business plan to financial institutions. LEA will also help during the project in implementation.
Both UBBC and LEA will mentor and assist the entrepreneurs to manage their businesses.