Fast-rising local LED manufacturer, The Bulb World is finalising a P50 million round of funding that will enable the company to expand further into the SADC region, BusinessWeek has learnt.
This week, founder and CEO, Ketshephaone Jacob said the company’s expansion plans were nearing financial close.
“We are truly grateful for the fact that after months, we are about to conclude on our SADC expansion funding, which will help us in increasing our current output and in turn positively impact our turnover as we now have access to a larger population,” he told BusinessWeek.
Jacob added: “With the little profit that we have managed to make, and some personal sacrifice, I left my comfort zone being home and moved to South Africa to establish some footprint as we forge ahead with our 'rooted in Africa expansion' into the SADC market".
The CEO and The Bulb World are riding the crest of a wave this week after Jacob was confirmed as a finalist of the Jack Ma Foundation’s African Business Heroes’ programme, scooping an award of 100,000 (P1.2 million) in the process. The CEO also won an additional $10,000 for a training programme to be hosted by the Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
“We do not take for granted that we were recognised out of 12,000+ applications from 54 countries. Ultimately making it to the Top 10 was both exciting and humbling. “This achievement was the validation we needed that we are on the right track as a growing business despite the many challenges that we continue to encounter,” Jacob said.
He added that for decades entrepreneurs had been identified as the critical change agents in socio-economic development, and some countries had been a lot more intentional and successful in promoting the enterprising spirit.
“It’s only in the last decade that our government has put in concrete measures towards citizen enterprise, and I hope that this global recognition of The Bulb World by Africa Business Heroes is testament to the fact that there is a lot of potential in growing more locally produced products, and that our company is one of many enterprises within our country that will continue to put Botswana on the global stage,” he said.
Jacob said being a part of the African Business Heroes competition would give Bulb World access to an ecosystem of entrepreneurs across the continent, which will be beneficial as the company seeks to expand into the rest of the continent.