ORAPA: Four female graduates have penetrated the vehicle tyre recycling business, which is dominated by their male counterparts.
Nokuthula Sole, who holds an Information Technology Degree from University of Greenwich has partnered with Omphemetse Morapelo, Yvonne Council, Galiso Machimuka and one male, Emmanuel Teko.
The business recycles vehicle tyres to create furniture.
Sole said at a recent panel discussion organised by Orapa, Letlhakane, Damtshaa Mines (OLDMs) that their business benefited from Debswana STRYDE initiative.
Their business trades under Gyneo-yogne Investment PTY LTD and operates in the heart of Letlhakane village.
Sole said they ventured into the male space so as to change people’s mindsets that women were not meant to run businesses, but rather to be domestic workers.
She told the panel discussion that they benefited from the STRYDE programme in 2018, which attracted a total of 100 young entrepreneurs.Sole added that during the programme, 70% of the participants were females while the rest were males. The Tutume-born entrepreneur said the STRYDE programme equipped them with relevant business training skills.
She revealed that upon graduating from STRYDE they received P4, 000 to register a company and prepare trading licences.
She said they were trained on personal and professional effectiveness and business finance, which played a pivotal role in helping them to start a business.
She shared that the business partners also went for tertiary at respective universities both locally and abroad.
When speaking of their business, she said they believe in the three Rs, which preach the concepts of Reduce, Recycle and Re-use of products.
Sole said currently they use
The entrepreneur further said they intend to expand their business by recovering wire-steel, fibre and producing rubber mulch or crumbed rubber through shredding.
She also said they could also produce oil from recycled tyres.
“We love and take pride in bringing old items back to life and as a company we want to create a clean environment for everyone. We borrowed the environment from the coming generation; it is our duty to return it in good shape to them. Also, I want to be a change maker,” she said.
She added that as a result of shortage of land for industrial use they were now incurring expensive rental costs and some of the raw materials are purchased in Francistown, which becomes costly.
Sole said that they get raw materials from local garages and from the dumping site.
She revealed that some of their competitors include mushrooming roadside tyre traders. The 30-year-old bemoaned the minimal support from the government in the Boteti region as they get breadcrumb projects as tenders and big ones are given to successful businesses as far as Gaborone.
She said some of the youth businesses fail due to lack of financial discipline and impatience because they always want fast results.
Sole encouraged the youth to always remain patient and stay put in their businesses.