TWENTY-FIVE applicants are currently undergoing a two-week entrepreneurial training ahead of the final selection of the winners of this year’s Bacha Entrepreneurship Project.
The winners will share M500 000 prize money to help kick start their entrepreneurship projects.
The project, which is in its third year, is a collaborative effort by BEDCO, the Lesotho Revenue Authority and Standard Lesotho Bank which is aimed at creating a crop of entrepreneurs who can contribute to overall economic development by creating jobs for others.
The training follows the call for proposals that was issued in May 2017 to unemployed graduate youths aged from 21 to 35 to submit business proposals.
Speaking to the Lesotho Times on the sidelines of the training, BEDCO Marketing Officer, Lerato Maieane, said the training would equip the 25 with a wide range of entrepreneurial skills after which they will be given a further week to fine-tune and resubmit their proposals for final selection.
She revealed that the selection was done by a competent and experienced panel of adjudicators drawn from partner organisations and collegial institutions.
Ms Maieane said the 25 were selected after a review of 101 applications.
She said the project targeted graduates who have never been formally employed after attaining their qualifications.
Ms Maieane said during the implementation phase of the projects, candidates were constantly mentored and provided with entrepreneurial, financial and tax compliance guidance in order to transform their ideas into fully-fledged businesses that are integrated into the mainstream economy.
One of last year’s winners, Ntsoaki Mabejane, hailed the training for equipping youths “with a lot of business skills which include the writing of a good business proposals, the basics of running a successful business and many other skills.”
Ms Mabejane who cofounded Botanical Wares, said they struggled for funds before winning last year.
She said they were also assisted to get traders’ licences and testing their products for quality among other benefits.