MASERU — The Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO) held a ceremony yesterday to award seventeen trainees for their participation in a textile tailoring course.
The event celebrated the women’s efforts and showcased some of the tailored clothes they had produced.
The textile training course which ran for two months was aimed at equipping trainees with the needed skills to operate independently as tailors.
The course also included a one week business skills training.
Speaking at the event, the deputy minister of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing Maliehe Maliehe said one of the priorities of his ministry was to drive growth in small scale business and to develop Basotho owned enterprises across the country.
He said the ministry would work hand in hand with corporations like BEDCO and Lesotho National Development Corporation to develop small businesses and grow industry.
The minister further urged BEDCO to help small female-owned businesses by providing training, business advice and facilitating networking with business experts.
“Women play a pivotal role in driving the development of economy. They also play support structures for many successful men in business” Maliehe added.
Addressing the graduating trainees, BEDCO chief executive officer Robert Likhang applauded the women for having taken the initiative to learn and improve their knowledge and skills.
He promised the trainees that BEDCO would always be available for mentoring and business advice to help them in growing their businesses.
Likhang said economic improvement rests on small to medium scale businesses and added that developing them would drive economic growth.
Mamokotjo Serabele speaking on behalf of the trainees expressed gratitude to BEDCO saying they were all overjoyed that they had successfully completed their training course.
“We enrolled as skilled tailors but over the two months of this course we have learnt so much and acquired a lot of skills we did not have and did not even know we lacked” she said.
On behalf of the Lesotho Federation of Women Entrepreneurs, Maseru chairperson thanked BEDCO for having provided the skills training to members of the federation.
She said she was proud of the trainees and urged them to plough the skills they had learnt back into their businesses and raise the federation and the country’s flags higher.
She also recommended that they impart the skills they had learned to others in the industry.
It was announced at the event that BEDCO was in the process of talks to make plans for construction of a Basotho owned textile factory that would produce Basotho products for export. BEDCO has plans to embark on a nationwide campaign to teach people business the skills to make a living and create jobs for themselves and others.