LNDC in bid to lure support for youth businesses


MASERU – The Chief Executive Officer of the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), Advocate Molise Ramaili, has announced a new strategy to attract international support for youth businesses.

They plan to collaborate with entrepreneurs from other countries to create enterprises and address unemployment issues.

Ramaili made this statement during a press briefing held by the Ministry of Gender, Youth, and Social Development on Wednesday this week to discuss the progress and achievements of the Sebabatso Initiative.

“LNDC will grant M1 million, which will be divided among youth entrepreneurs to catalyse their businesses,” he said. He also said that LNDC would offer a technical programme in the youth project preparation facility, which includes conducting feasibility studies.

Ramaili said Lesotho’s small population means that youth involvement in initiatives like Youth Connect can lead to global recognition of their products and the country.

He cited the music industry as an example, noting that artistes from Lesotho have gained international recognition, which reflects positively on the country.

Entrepreneurship is not limited to selling but includes talents in sports, singing, and the arts, Ramaili added. He expressed readiness to support Sebabatso and called on all companies to collaborate, hoping to see positive results quickly.

The Sebabatso Initiative is part of the government’s efforts to support entrepreneurs and youth in the country, creating opportunities for growth and development.

The Minister of Gender, Youth, and Social Development, Pitso Lesaoana, said Sebabatso’s mandate is to help youth grow their businesses.

He added that eight young entrepreneurs were taken to China for various categories, and two of them will return before the end of month to learn more and showcase their products.

He further explained that Sebabatso had a trip to the BRICS summit in South Africa, where five entrepreneurs participated with the help of the United Nations (UN), the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL), and the LNDC.

Lesaoana said Basotho youth are very talented and that the initiative will continue to support them and seek more sponsors to grow their businesses.

Lesaoana also announced the upcoming celebration of Sebabatso’s one-year anniversary and the launch of a second Sebabatso initiative.

However, he acknowledged complaints about bias in the selection process, which favours youth from Maseru. To address this concern, he decided that each district would hold a competition where 10 youth would be selected to participate in Maseru.

Moleboheng Sefali, the Senior Private Secretary (SPS) in the Prime Minister’s office, said last year Sebabatso participated in Youth Connect in Kenya, becoming the 33rd member. This year, in November, they will return to Kenya.

Sefali highlighted the need to launch the Lesotho Chapter of Youth Connect to better understand and achieve the youth’s needs.

“The intention of Sebabatso is to grow youth businesses; we are open to start-ups. We need to see the graph of growth going up so that in the second year of Sebabatso we can show improvement,” she said.

She noted that Sebabatso collaborates with different partners and urged the youth to take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts. At the event, Sebabatso awarded prizes to the winners of the BRICS Summit. Nthomeng Leuta took home the first prize of US$2,000 (about M36 000) and Selloane Motsamai won the second prize of US$1,000 (about M18 000).