Mimi Machakaire and Lijeng Ranooe
INVESTING in regular training of staff is key in the diversification of skills and growing of businesses, Paseka Ramakoatsi, an external consultant for Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO), has said.
Ramokoatsi spoke to the Lesotho Times on the side-lines of a recent workshop held by his company, PDollar & Associates.
The company was established in 2013 and provides a range of business development services with focus on value addition for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).
Mr Ramokoatsi said instead of viewing training as a cost, business operators need to start treating it as an investment.
“Lack of staff training is a major challenge for many organisations as they still see training as an expense rather than investment so they do not realise the direct correlation between skills training and business growth,” Mr Ramokoatsi said.
“I train many individuals and entrepreneurs that are willing to learn and I have noticed that major corporations hardly invest in training because of the state of the economy they view it as an expense.”
He said the country’s business sector suffers from lack of coordination to support MSMEs which demotivates potential entrepreneurs.
“This is due to poor market access and inability to access credit from both financial institutions and other existing organisation by potential or existing entrepreneurs,” Mr Ramokoatsi said.
“There is a need to link MSMEs with larger corporations. Large enterprises must be able to provide basic resources to help facilitate their growth rather than compete with them.
“The larger organisations will in turn also be able to advice MSMEs entrepreneur’s and contribute to their development by offering training solutions to better improve the quality of service or production from the MSMEs,” Mr Ramokoatsi said.
He said due to the fragile state of the country’s economy, youth fail lack encouragement to embark on training as most venture into business for quick returns instead of passion to own enterprises.
“The solution to surviving in these economic times is getting into entrepreneurship but I advise the youths to do it for job creation. The aim must be to expand, think small business, then aim big, thus creating generational wealth through entrepreneurship.
“We need to sensitise our business people of the importance of skills in businesses. We need to sensitise our youth at tertiary level and make them aware of entrepreneurship, as a way out of poverty for our country.
“Entrepreneurship is not just a means of survival but a way to become successful in future endeavours as a country,” Mr Ramokoatsi said.