After beating off competition from 243 other entrants, Alosa Group has been declared winners of the first-ever Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) Business Den.
The BDC-led initiative aims to reach out to young entrepreneurs, giving them a chance to secure funding on a grant basis as well as networking opportunities.
As part of the prize, Alosa, which comprises Alosa Feeds and Alosa Biomass-Charcoal Briquettes, will receive funding of up to P500, 000. They will also remain in the Business Den for 18 months, with BDC providing constant monitoring and evaluation, playing a mentorship role until the project is mature and can graduate.
Following a pitch session held last week where 10 finalists were invited to present their ideas, Alosa emerged as the winner of the competition, which was open to citizen entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 35.
When giving remarks during Tuesday’s award ceremony, BDC Managing Director, Cross Kgosidiile said as the country’s main investment arm, BDC is excited to have launched such an initiative.
“The competition was open to businesses across all sectors, to align with our mandate of investing in a commercially viable project in all sectors of the economy,” declared Kgosidiile, adding he hopes the scheme will help local entrepreneurs form fruitful partnerships.
“Entrepreneurs are naturally drawn to each other, they enjoy learning about each other’s experiences, they create partnerships with each other whenever possible,” he continued.
Kgosidiile emphasized that building such an ecosystem takes years of effort and requires an approach to business growth and economic planning that is sometimes hard to appreciate.
The MD noted BDC ultimately intends to support youth by cultivating entrepreneurship, providing an enabling environment, and exploring opportunities for scalable businesses that will drive Botswana towards an advanced economy.
*Grab next week’s issue for an in-depth profile on Alosa Group