Nine entrepreneurs graduate into diamond industry
Education empowers individuals, societies and the country as a whole.
This was the message delivered by Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) Board Chairperson, Banny Molosiwa at the graduation celebration of the company’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) at Wagga Gardens in Gaborone recently.
Molosiwa cautioned the nine graduates who participated in the seven-month part-time training program that they are entering an unfriendly industry riddled with complexities.
She encouraged them to use the knowledge and skills they have gained during their training to ensure that their individual enterprises flourish and become competitive in both the local and international markets.
Speaking at the event, attended by representatives from the programme which was facilitated by the University of Stellenbosch Business Executive School of Development (USB-ESD) and Worldwide Diamond Manufacturer (WDM) Botswana, ODC Managing Director Marcus Ter Haar said the flagship programme has ‘fixed the graduate’s entrepreneurial journey’.
He added that having more than one partnership with varying institutions is not easy.
“It took determination and trust for the two entities to work together to reach this day,” he said before reminding the nine graduates that they and their enterprises are custodians of the inaugural YEP graduation.
Ter Haar added that there are always opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in the diamond sector, through processing as well as diamond jewellers retailing.
ODC YEP was a two-part undertaking that saw the nine graduates embark on a seven-month training course at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.
The course was delivered through a combination of assignments, class lectures, correspondence and online sessions.
WDM Botswana facilitated Diamond Foundation, which was delivered through industry presentations and tours.
Of the nine graduates, Daniel Moalosi got the Director’s Award for Highest Academic Performance while Same Baaitse attained the Highest Overall Score-Academics and Business Plan.