Young Batswana buy Saverite franchise in Tlokweng
Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture deputy permanent secretary, Peter Mongwaketse, has urged aspiring local entrepreneurs to look for alternative sources of capital amid revelation that the government funding is not enough to meet the national demands.
Speaking last week at the official opening of Saverite supermarket in Tlokweng, which is owned by two Batswana youths, Mongwaketse challenged upcoming businesses not to rely on government funding for start-ups.He said although government set up the Youth Development Fund (YDF) programme, a tailor-made programme targeting the 18-35 year olds to start sustainable enterprises, the funding is not enough. “We should look for other avenues for funding because the P100 000 from the Youth funding is peanuts,” Mongwaketse said.
The Saverite Tlokweng supermarket is the 32nd store to be opened in Botswana and is owned by Joseph Kgasi and his partner Sammy Radipetse who are the shop chief executive officer and chief operations officer respectively. The two came up with this idea to start the business five years ago. “The two young men have acquired the franchise rights from Saverite without any loan from anybody but with determination and focus they managed. To other aspiring youth out there, I want to say that it’s possible despite pressing challenges that affect us to achieve certain goals,” said the deputy permanent secretary.
He expressed gratitude that, for the first time, Batswana youth have ventured into large fast moving consumer goods business. “These two are employing other youth in Botswana and are helping us as the government to deal with unemployment,” he said. Mongwaketse said his ministry has no greater priority other than the empowerment of youths.
He applauded Saverite for the opportunities it is offering youths in the country to start businesses.“Let’s support our young people by buying from the shop and by doing so, we are empowering the youths in the country,” he said at the event which was graced by the local community. He took the opportunity to urge businesses to improve their service and withstand the tight competition in the market. “These days it’s no longer competition between products and services but it’s now competition between business models, that is, it’s about how do you go about doing your business,” said Mongwaketse.
Saverite CEO, Kgasa, said the project took them five years to complete. They were motivated by a desire to create jobs when they set up the shop in the area. “This is shop is not ours but belongs to the community and we are appealing for your support,” he said.Kgasa highly commended the Botswana government for opening opportunities and business avenues for youth to take up. “This government is a very good government as it is opening up opportunities for the young ones and it is up to the youth to open their eyes and see where the opportunities are.
Opportunities are not easy to get but if you open your eyes they will come like sunshine to you,” said the soft spoken Kgasa who later donated various groceries to the less privileged people in the society. Deputy Chief, Kgosi Spokes Gaborone, said the opening of the shop in Tlokweng is going to have a positive economic and social impact to the Tlokweng which is dire need of development. He thanked Kgasa and his partner for setting up the shop before appealing to the community to support their business venture.