LOCAL entrepreneurs have over the years been experiencing major challenges, struggling to make ends meet, particularly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sept. 15, 2022
2 min read
UNDP and Econet Telecom Lesotho empower local women entrepreneurs
Econet Telecom Lesotho headquarters in Maseru
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While the entire sector is failing to make a significant impact in the local economy, women entrepreneurs are particularly the most vulnerable and underperforming.
Access to finance is one of the biggest challenges they usually encounter, at some point leading to the ultimate collapse of their businesses. Other women fail to even transform their ideas into reality because of absence of funds and other necessities.
In essence, it means women entrepreneurs really need more support from different stakeholders to ensure progress. Thanks to organisations such as the UNDP and Standard Lesotho Bank, which are currently putting women at the forefront and assisting them to build their businesses.
Just this week, the UNDP decided to join hands with Econet Telecom Lesotho to among others, uplift women entrepreneurs towards realising their dreams.
For instance, under the initiative known as “Her Empire” the UNDP enrolled 18 women who lead their own enterprises in different sectors. This is the first cohort of women-led enterprises being enrolled in this initiative, which was launched in May.
The main objective of the initiative is to ensure that women-led enterprises improve their business capacities, transforming into iconic business frameworks pioneered by women and are able to compete at the highest level of service provision including participation in public and private procurement processes.
Initiatives of this nature should indeed be applauded because they will certainly unleash the potential of women entrepreneurs which unfortunately has been overlooked for many years.
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Women entrepreneurs in Lesotho should be in a position to play a spirited role towards development, however, as it stands, their businesses are faced with many challenges such as lack of capital, access to markets among others. This perhaps is because the government has failed and continues to undermine the power of women in business, hence, no word, apart from the private sector, is being said by the state about developing the sector.
Further applause should be directed towards Standard Lesotho Bank through its women empowerment programmes that are aimed towards women empowerment. The bank has in recent years fully been acknowledging women in business and making sure that they thrive.
Such actions should be sending strong messages to other relevant stakeholders to be more willing to support women entrepreneurs. Only then shall we see the required improvement in the country’s economy coupled with reduced unemployment.