Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI), Vincent Seretse has called on the youth to take advantage of capital funding provided for youth owned businesses like the Youth Development Fund (YDF) and set up companies that will supply government with goods and services.
Speaking at a business seminar hosted for the youth on Thursday, Seretse decried the fact that government spends an estimated P70 billion to purchase goods and services from international markets because there is limited supply in the country.
“Government wants to support the youth of Batswana as a whole by promoting their businesses. We want local businesses to service government and we are always searching for various suppliers of furniture, food, and electronics and so on,” he said.
Seretse pointed that government thirsts for local goods and services and urged young Batswana in poultry, agriculture, design and textile businesses to produce superior goods that they can sell to government.
“Please come up with a very clear, well written proposal of what you want to do. Profile your businesses and seek help from companies which are there to assist in business funding and policies,” he said.
He reminded the youth that starting a business is never easy as many end up losing hope during tough times. He however urged young entrepreneurs not to give up.
“Don’t stop approaching customers. Knock on each and every door and expose your business. Marketing influences 70% of the business’ success so do not be afraid of rejection. Be able to take a ‘NO’ and still move on. Also know how to penetrate a market,” said Seretse.
The Minister also urged the youth to take time and understand policies that relate to local businesses. In conclusion, Seretse encouraged young entrepreneurs to approach government oriented organizations and ask for information on what they need to be supplied with.
“Each and every day, hospitals, schools, ministries, council are faced with shortage of supplies. Hospitals may have shortage of sheets; schools may want food supplies or classroom desks. Approach them and ask how you can meet their needs and supply to them,” he said.
The Minister said he was impressed by the number of youth who have registered and are operating businesses.