GAONALIVE CELEBRATES 3RD ANNIVERSARY
A collaboration between three sisters dubbed GaonaLive is a television production company with an online You tube channel.
The company aims to air premium content, through a wide variety of programmes that celebrate and showcase everything there is about Africa and her people.
Popular to many, the face of the production company Gaona Dintwe is also the marketing head whilst her two sisters play key roles within the company.
“They shy away from the camera but these two are a force to reckon with. They are the glue that holds the business together,” says Dintwe.
Dimpho is the production head whilst Olefang is the brains behind the business. As the analytical one, Olefang ensures all discussed ideas are then pursued. The sisters’ strengths once more came to light during the 3rd GaonaLive celebration hosted at My Kind of Place last week.
The entrepreneurial journey production was broadcast live with a studio guest audience and panel.
Discussing the theme, “overcoming entrepreneurship challenges” the founder and executive producer, Gaona Dintwe says that as a start up business they faced many hurdles before finding their feet. “We continue to learn from others as we impart our own experiences through our productions.” To further elaborate, Dintwe had another business owner delve deeply into the subject.
A fairly new business entrant, Lebo Manson owns and runs the Chem Dry franchise in Botswana.
Chem Dry is a green company started in the United States and through much research and CEDA funding Manson acquired the franchise license to operate the business locally.
Offering upholstery and cleaning carpets, the company has been running for a year and a half.
Narrating her journey of how she acquired the franchise and running the business, Manson highlighted her steady growth and shared some of the challenges she has faced as a new entrant in the world of business.
“I was raised to be an employee and as an exceptional student throughout my life I thought pursuing academics was my path. Though I have always had business interests, business was always a by the way and never a certainty,” quipped Manson.
An environmentalist by training; Manson holds an MSC in bio diversity, conservation and management from Oxford University, BA in environmental science and an MBA from the University of Botswana.
She quit her PHD studies in her 4th year to answer to the business bug that bit her.
“From as early as 11 years, I used to sell ice pops and later while studying in the UK, I would buy clothes and sell them in Botswana, so business has always been a part of my life though I would never have imagined going into it full time.”
Although optimistic about the future, Manson was open in sharing the challenges she faces running a business.
In addition to learning the ropes of running a business, she admitted to the pressure of making certain margins to service her loan.
“Running a business is no child’s play. Apart from the challenge of shifting one’s mindset from employee to being an employer with the responsibility of managing people, we have not been able to penetrate the commercial market which has stifled our growth.”
Manson says her business has largely done well with households but it was yet to acquire big business contracts that would bring about the much-needed growth.
She however hastened to point out that her persistent nature drives her to continue knocking on doors with the hope to gain the trust of big customers.
To offer Manson and other entrepreneurs’ advice, Botswana Stock exchange limited; CEO Thapelo Tsheole and H&G Founder and Managing Director, Knight Ganje gave accounts of their professional backgrounds.
For his part, Tsheole spoke extensively of backing one’s conviction with due diligence.
“Business is about making returns and ensuring that projections are made to guide one on how to navigate the business landscape. One must take time to formulate a proper business strategy outlining how the business will run.
Ganje on the other hand emphasised the importance of building relationships. “Know who counts and build these networks. One must never be deterred by the number of failed attempts but rather strive to collaborate and gain from other people’s experiences,” said the successful businessman.
He went on to point out that it was not imperative that one becomes a sole owner of a business.
“Having shares in a business is still ownership, many people need to learn to focus on their strengths and partner with others to take care of other aspects of the business. One does not have to be everything in their business,” Ganje cautioned.