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Ideas Expo could empowers youth entrepreneurs

Publishing Date : 11 September, 2017


The Counselling Psychologist and the Coordinator of the Youth Ideas Expo at the University of Botswana under the Careers and Counselling unit, Ms Emmah July says youth entrepreneurs are vital in the diversification and growth of the country’s economy.

Speaking in an interview with WeekendPost, at the sidelines of the Ideas Expo held at the University of Botswana, July said the objectives of the Ideas Expo are to help the youth entrepreneurs and aspiring businessmen and women to acquire entrepreneurial skills and market expansion for their businesses. She further stated that the expo also facilitates promotion and is a marketing platform for the youth owned small business enterprises to grow. “The Youth needs to be helped in growing and marketing their products, hence there is a need to host much of this kind of expos, to empower and enrich the youth on how they can grow in businesses,” said July.

July said youth owned businesses have the potential to create employment for other young people, thus curbing high the unemployment rate the country is facing.“Our economy should not rely only on minerals and tourism sectors, manufacturing and industries should also contribute. Youth businesses should help the government to create jobs,” she added.She is of the view that the youth have good enterprises and business ideas, the only hindrances being they lack knowledge and necessary skills on how to run or implement such ideas. She also reckoned that most of the failing businesses are those owned by the youth simply because of lack of market exposure.

Moreover, she said the expo focused mainly on equipping youth businesses with business running skills, and the opportunity to sell their products, especially businesses located in rural areas. She added that the expo is beneficial to the youth in many ways because they are able to establish connections and benchmark from each other. “This is the most important time for business owners to sell, market, connect and learn from other business colleagues with the aim of fostering growth in one’s business,” she added.

July further said they also invited youth funding organizations such as CEDA, LEA, Innovation Hub and Business Botswana to be exhibitors so that they can also share with the business owners on how they can assist them.  She highlighted that the funding organizations assist youth in many ways when it comes to business such as formulating business proposals and protecting the ideas.

For his part one of the youth entrepreneurs and exhibitors, Mr Vincent Makgetla of Demographix Communication applauded the efforts made by stakeholders to organize youth exhibitions and expos. He said this enables both youth entrepreneurs both from urban and rural areas to come and display their products with possibilities of market growth. “Expos are very important because they help us to make our businesses well known by establishing connections,” he said.
Youth business owners exhibited products in the areas of fashion design, costumes, digital media organizations services and art work.



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