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BDC supports UniPay with P500 000

10 Sep 2023

Supporting youth-led businesses can bring fresh perspectives, cutting-edge solutions and a fearless approach to challenges.

Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) managing director, Mr Cross Kgosidiile said this during the handover ceremony of the P500 000 prize to UniPay on recently.

Mr Kgosidiile said BDC supported the company through it’s Business Den 2.0 programme, which fostered entrepreneurial talent among the youth.

He added that UniPay, a technology company that sought to introduce cashless payments in public transport, would be housed under the Business Den for 18 months, nurtured through continuous monitoring, evaluation and mentorship and the period of growth and maturation would pave the way for its ultimate graduation from the programme.

Mr Kgosidiile said such ventures injected vitality into industries and drove economic growth while inspiring their peers to reach for the stars.

“We look forward to witnessing the continued growth and success of the project that would emerge from the grant. Our nation’s youth are the driving force of change and through their endeavours, we are confident that they will contribute positively to our society and economy,” he said.

For her part, Business Den chief judge and also deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship, Ms Hellen Chilisa encouraged youth and other entrepreneurs to be deliberate about their participation in competitions such as the Business Den, which offered great opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas to the world.

“The various innovative and interesting ideas showcased in growth sectors such as technology, manufacturing, energy, and services reaffirm my belief that such platforms as Business Den remain important to foster an environment that encourages innovation and growth,” Ms Chilisa said.

She added that a shift from the traditional mindset to one of resilience, adaptability and creativity was essential in order to thrive in the fast-paced world of business.

Again, she said the required shift was also echoed by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, through the recently launched Mindset Change Agenda.

“The entrepreneurial mindset was a potent brew of audacity and determination, where challenges should be seen as opportunities and stepping stones. This is a mindset that champions  innovation, embraces uncertainty and thrives on collaboration. Through this and the exploration of entrepreneurial talent, Botswana and its youth will achieve the national vision of becoming a high-income economy by 2036,” she said.

Ms Chilisa said as government’s investment agency, BDC was mandated to pursue commercially viable projects that were aligned to unlocking value in priority sectors, contribute to a sustainable and diversified Botswana economy.

She explained that the Business Den initiative intended to support the youth by cultivating entrepreneurship, providing an enabling environment and exploring opportunities for scalable businesses.

Youth aged 18-35 with robust and innovative business ideas for new or existing projects for expansion and proposals from sectors including technology, energy, manufacturing, services, tourism and industry are eligible to enter the competition. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Marvin Motlhabane

Location : GABORONE

Event : Handover ceremony

Date : 10 Sep 2023