Described as a tool in fuelling economic growth, job creation
Whereas it was once regarded unpopular, crowdfunding* has established itself as an instrument in economic growth, job creation and building communities.
This was the view of Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS), Corporate Services in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Peter Mongwaketse, speaking at the recent Youth Alive Seminar held in Gaborone.
In his official address, Mongwaketse noted that the alternative form of finance was fast gaining momentum in more prominent markets.
Citing the United Kingdom crowdfunding platform ‘Crowdcube’ as a sterling example, Mongwaketse revealed that since it started in March 2015, the organisation has successfully funded projects to the sum of 35 million Pounds.
“The United States of America also through crowdfunding, did a kick-starter programme under this model and funds projects in industries ranging from technology to films and video productions,” he said, likening the model to a moving ship ‘which young people in Botswana would greatly benefit from if they sailed aboard’.
Mongwaketse indicated that though the government has initiatives to help the youth with funding to start up businesses, the budget allocated to the Ministry for the Youth Development Fund (YDF) was not sufficient to cover all the needs of entrepreneurs in the country.
He continued that a crowdfunding initiative could potentially fill the gap and advised the seminar attendants to consider similar platforms.
Speaking on the reservations for youth owned companies, the DPS said there was a presidential directive for all ministries and independent departments to set aside a 20 percent quota on micro procurement.
Other reservations include a 25 percent quota for youth-owned businesses on all maintenance of government facilities and a 15 percent quota on price preference margin for youth companies in open tender.
“30 percent of cattle chasing patrols are to be preserved for youth companies,” he stated, continuing that Cattle Chasing Patrol Tenders provide an opportunity for youth empowerment as they do not require high levels of skill and technical equipment.
* Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.