The Tokafala Advisory Mentorship programme has unveiled its first beneficiaries. A total of 13 entrepreneurs have been selected out of 35 participants, after undergoing a four-month training programme.
Speaking at an event held to announce the selected businesses, Tokafala hub manager Victor Mong`gae said in coming up with the selected finalists, they assessed if the submitted business plans had growth potential and the ability to create jobs. They also assessed if the business will really add value to the community it operates in.
“Participants attended a one day intensive business workshop and were expected to go and apply the basics at their businesses which was followed by one on one session with the Tokafala in-house mentors as well as the independent evaluators.” said Mong`gae.
Topics that were covered included the best growth opportunities for a business, business management through finances, market access and how to bring it all together into a comprehensive and consistent growth strategy.
Launched in 2013, the Tokafala programme is a partnership between government, Anglo American, De Beers and Debswana aimed at promoting economic development and employment creation through Small Macro Medium Enterprises (SMME) support. “This programme caters for businesses which have been existing for at six months. We believe in proof of concept, to assist businesses. If there is no track record it is going to be difficult for us to assist individuals so there would be no proof,’ he said.
Businesses that qualify for this programme include, small business with annual turnover between P100,000 and P5 million, while the micro-enterprises’ turnover should be less than P100,000. The medium-scale enterprises target the ones with a turnover of P5 million
“The selected group of business people will be assisted to access loan financing to fund their purchase orders,” Mong`gae said adding that most of them are operating in Gaborone, one in Francistown, Mmadinare, Kanye as well as Thamaga,” he said. The companies that were selected include Pyramid Design Studios, Lancaster Investments (PTY) Ltd, Ebra`s Transportation services, Hen & Jen Metals, Finvec investments, White Angels, Trish Holdings, Rocky House, Net Wing services, PFour (PTY) Ltd t/a medlass Imaging, Woodridge enterprises t/a Solo Gem, Joal`s Cabin and Destiny car rentals.
“I urge those who did not make it to never give up because their businesses are good. It’s just that we realised that we could not add value to their businesses.
However, we will still assist your businesses with mentorship and can help with some business leads,” he assured the entrepreneurs who did not cut the grade.
Tokafala currently packages loan applications on behalf of their participants. They then take it to their financers, which include Barclays Bank, Citizen Empowerment Development Agency (CEDA), BancABC, Bank Gaborone and First National Bank.
Mong`gae also revealed that they plan to set up a loan fund which will directly finance the different businesses’ expansion plans. Their next intake has been scheduled for next year February and May.