Entrepreneurs Network to commemorate women’s month


Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE Entrepreneurship Network (TEN) and Standard Lesotho Bank have dedicated the August edition of The Hook up Dinner (THUD) to women in line with the women’s month.

Women’s month is celebrated in August annually while THUD is hosted monthly for budding entrepreneurs to network with established business people.

Speaking to Lesotho Times, TEN executive chairperson, Thabo Stephen Monyamane, said they thought it was befitting to have an all women line-up for the forthcoming event.

Mr Monyamane said they would use the platform to celebrate female trailblazers in the country.

“Our history is laden with women who have achieved great feats among them Prophetess Makhetha Mantsopa, a renowned healer,” Mr Monyamane said.

We also have Queen mother Mantšebo Amelia ‘Matšaba who was the ruler of Lesotho from 1941 to 1960 and Queen ‘Manthatisi known as a strong, brave and capable leader both peace and war.”

He said the three women were their focal point as they have helped shape the history of the country.

He also encouraged men to attend the event and show support for women.

“We can transform men from perpetrators of gender-based violence to advocates of empowering, supporting, encouraging and recognising the role of women in building and shaping the Lesotho we want for our kids.”

Mr Monyamane said unlike other months, they would only accept pitches from women this month. The event selects one pitch monthly to contest in a competition where the winning idea will earn M100 000 worth o equity investment in November this year.

The list of monthly winners will be whittled down to three who will contest in the grand finale.

To enter the competition, interested participants upload a 60-second video of detailing their business idea, the problem they are solving, the business model and how they get revenue on Facebook.

“Five videos with the most likes will be selected to pitch at THUD monthly and one winner is selected each month,” Mr Monyamane said.

The monthly winners will then be asked to submit their plan to a panel of judges in October this year where the top three will be selected. These will pitch their ideas at an entrepreneurship expo in November 2018 where the winner will be announced.

THUD is a networking community of entrepreneurs who engage, connect and contribute to each other’s success. It consists of networking, pitching sessions, dynamic talks, marketplace opportunities to access networks in the various countries through live-streaming and use of digital tools.

“We are active in 13 cities, six countries and have a network of over 89 000 entrepreneurs and still growing. We are obsessed with building a solid African footprint representative of the rising youth voice in the SADC, East, Central and West African markets in line with the existing free African trade blocs.”

He said their aim was to have an active, vibrant, well-networked and economically active tribe of 1 million start-up businesses across the African continent by 2020.

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