MARKETING firm, Valence Group, will on Saturday launch a series of seminars in in Khubetsoana meant to equip youths with life skills needed to succeed in business.
Valence Group founder and Managing Director Alex Motsieloa Nonyane told the Lesotho Times this week the initiative was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative and meant to equip unemployed youths with sustainable life, career and business skills. The company specialises in marketing communications and organisational development.
“It is evident that the shortage of jobs in the country is creating serious societal problems and threatens the livelihoods of youths, with many of them becoming despondent as a result. That is what moved us to find ways to address the issue,” Mr Nonyane said.
“We came up with the idea of the Valence Academy which targets youths between 15 and 30 years of age who are often found idling around in communities for lack of better things to do.”
Mr Nonyane said the initiative was inspired by the recently reviewed Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) policy which seeks, among other things, to eradicate poverty among youths through business development.
“The Ministry of Small Business Development Cooperatives and Marketing has reviewed the MSME policy of 2011 which identifies lack of skills and technology transfer as one of the challenges facing the sector,” he said.
The policy document also states that world-wide experiences on MSME promotion demonstrate that the provision of quality business development services, including entrepreneurship training, is central to the success of small businesses.
While acknowledging the role of government agencies in coming up with interventions targeted at enhancing women and youth entrepreneurship, Mr Nonyane however emphasized the need for the private sector to contribute as well.
“We acknowledge that government agencies such as the Basotho Enterprise and Development Corporation, SMME Support Network and ministries like the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation are already addressing the issue,” he said, adding, “but we have also seen the need for the private sector to take up the task.”
Mr Nonyane said his company was negotiating with various organisations to also assist by providing opportunities for youths.
“The Legal Voice has been invited to the launch as one of the organisations that can lend support to this initiative,” he said.
“We are also talking to them to take qualifying participants as sales consultants on probation. The idea is to enable the youths to gain work experience. We hope to extend this offer to other corporates as we continue the outreach.”