MOST up-and-coming businesses fail to last the distance because of failure by their owners to communicate their value and to refine their operational models.
This is the view of Rethabile Phoofolo, founder and director of 360 Communications — a research-based company for corporate communications.
The company will on Saturday hold a Youth Business Focus workshop at Grind Nation, Maseru to equip entrepreneurs with skills to develop their businesses.
“The workshop is tailored for young people in business,” Ms Phoofolo said.
“The knowledge will be imparted by leaders of 360 Communications, who are alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Centre. The leaders were taught on how to implement the Lean Business Model from the Innovation Hub in Pretoria.”
She said the main focus of the workshop would be to equip the budding entrepreneurs on the implementation of the businesses plan. They will also focus on ways to effectively manage businesses so they employ more people.
“With our economy the way that it is, we have to find ways to be creative in implementing our business plans. We have to find ways to start small, and build organically instead of always waiting for funding”, Ms Phoofolo explained.
“Our aim is to grow Basotho businesses beyond the one-man self-subsistence business, to enterprises that have a positive impact on the community; build an ecosystem of businesses that create value and know how to communicate this value.
She added: “We also intend to challenge the mindset that only people with capital can start a business, and rather look at different ways of getting business resources by sharing services or battering skills. We want to create products and services that add real value to the end consumer, help youth businesses grow beyond just making money, and also create a legacy.”
Another area of focus, Ms Phoofolo said, would be imparting a customer-centric approach for the entrepreneurs.
“We have to start understanding what the customer is trying to achieve, what keeps your potential customer awake at night, and what solution the offering we provide brings to that customer.
“Our target audience is that person who is selling chickens, eggs, clothes, cosmetics etc. There are a lot of young people who are selling products mainly due to unemployment. Youth Business Focus, recognises the challenges of being a start-up and plans to meet these businesses halfway, in the form of providing capacity.”
Ms Phoofolo also indicated that they plan to make the training accessible to more people and to build connections beyond the workshops.
“We would like a situation where an entrepreneur does not just attend a workshop for one day, get excited, go home and face the same challenges.
“We are planning to create a support structure around the workshop, where we use our everyday environment as a simulation and feedback platform. We would also like to coordinate with other organisations and companies focusing on building an entrepreneurship ecosystem in Lesotho. That way, we will be able to reach more people, efficiently and quicker,” Ms Phoofolo said.
Admission for the workshop is M180.