The time is ripe now for women to prove it beyond doubt that they deserve positions of responsibility by merit not by virtue of gender.
An experienced corporate woman, Tumie Ramsden who has headed the Public Relations office of Standard Chartered Bank for some years said this during an ‘Over a cup of coffee’ sessions at Blue Tree Restaurant recently. About 20 women, predominantly young university students and graduates in attendance nodded their heads in agreement.
The meeting brainstormed, through subtitles; the theme: “Entrepreneurship, the vehicle for economic diversification and employment creation’.
The group comprised, notably of Tumie Ramsden of Venus, a Media and Communication Consultancy company, Lorato Akpata, Director of Suero Consult, a consultancy company and Sethunya Molosiwa of Liberty Insurance and younger ladies from various fields of business including health.
Ramsden led discussions on Innovation, Lorato Akpata injected some knowledge on Resource utilization while Sethunya Molosiwa led pondering on Risk Management and Execution
“We want our seat at the top table on merit, not because we are women. We should respect each other’s businesses and talents. At some point we should engage each other for a rewarded aid. Let’s be open with each other and advise one another. We need to team up and be passionate with what we do,” said Ramsden.
Comments on her presentation ranged from aiding those who complete school to reach their destiny-be it employment or entrepreneurship- to protecting ideas or concepts if they are to take some time before evolving into projects (safeguarding Intellectual Property rights); to company registration and understanding labor laws. A suggestion of creating a hub for networking was tabled.
“Utilize Information Technology. You do not always have to pay P2000 to get PPADB services. Sometimes you just have to go online and use a website. Avoid debts. Do not hurry to buy luxurious cars or rent expensive offices. Some projects can be done in your own house. Ensure you brand your business and market it. Differentiate between yourself and business. Get bank account for your business. Be an avid reader, especially of business books and journals. Know how to be a hustler,” Akpata said. She said through IT one can operate business from Botswana while the business is abroad; even overseas. IT she said eases networking.
She advised the meeting on ‘tax planning’. She advised that personal funds from P12 000 and above attracted more tax compared to business funds. She highlighted that business can buy groceries and even car if it is affordable. Utilizing a business account she said, even has the potential to protect funds during divorce. This is applicable, irrespective of whether marriage is in community or outside community of property.
For her part Molosiwa underpinned that risk management is done on daily basis. She explained that as you pitch a concept ask yourself what problem you are solving by implementing it. Risk management she said helps identify opportunities.
“Set up a business to accommodate expansion. Do not be over burdened by such steps as employing permanent employees. Be prepared for business interruptions. Always be on the lookout for fraud. Ensure cyber security. One of the dumbest things people do is to keep all business data on computer or laptop while Google account can keep these. Have good relations with your employees. Employ trustworthy people. Communicate with them, where you wish the business to grow,” said Molosiwa.
Formulation of a business hub, through which the members would access services needed by their businesses, at a particular stage for the process of business establishment and management, was an outstanding resolution the meeting reached. A website could be a platform for such a hub.