Stanbic and Debswana unite to help the little guy

Christinah Motlhabane
Bogwera,Emang,Kopano,Kelaotswe & Tlhabologo (L-R)

In an effort to empower Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the Boteti District, Debswana and Stanbic Bank have joined forces, pumping P5 million into a special grant programme.

The five-year deal, worth P1 million a year, is to help small business owners take their enterprises to the next level, and can also be used as capital for those looking to start their own hustles.

The Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme (CEEP) initiative was launched at Letlhakane Bus Rank on Tuesday, attracting a sizeable gathering, as hundreds turned up to learn more.

This is what they had to say…

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Stanbic and Debswana unite to help the little guy
Tembezelani Emang, 37, from Letlhakane

This is a fantastic initiative that will help those of us who are not employed.

It’s a ‘sesolo zone’ as one does not have to repay the money.

After taking the money you sleep freely knowing you do not owe Stanbic or Debswana.

I am glad for this, I long wanted to start a business, but because of financial constraints I failed.

Today I am going to sit down and rethink a business idea that I will present to CEEP so I get assisted.

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With this initiative, many jobs will be created.

Currently I am not employed; I’m a member of the Village Development Committee (VDC) here in Letlhakane.

Stanbic and Debswana unite to help the little guy
Akanyang Kelaotswe, 36, from Letlhakane

I am thrilled and my gut tells me I will be one of those who will take advantage of the monies from CEEP.

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Currently I am selling vegetables in front of Choppies here in Letlhakane and I would love to see my business grow.

With the Citizen Empowerment initiative I see my business taking me somewhere.

When I came here this morning, the intention was to leave this place with the application forms.

Now we are told CEEP offices are in Orapa, but it is not a problem, I will board a combi so I kick-start with the programme.

I wish other Batswana in the Boteti District could consider and take advantage of this because such opportunities do not come around often.

Let’s utilise this chance and take our businesses to greater heights.

And the good part of it is that they also assist the starters.

Stanbic and Debswana unite to help the little guy
Kgosi Philip Kopano from Mosu

I advise Batswana to make the most of this programme as it will definitely change their lives.

The main problem I see with youth is that they do not have their own plots.

You will find that one will have a great idea maybe of doing a Guest House but face a challenge of no plot.

Maybe the government can consider allocating plots to the youth so they can be able to do whatever good they want to do in them.

And the other thing I wish is that, when Batswana flock to their offices for help, it really is as easy to find assistance as they say it is.

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May it not be complicated!

Stanbic and Debswana unite to help the little guy
Botlhe Bogwera, 36, from Letlhakane

I liked the part they said if one is not able to pay rent for a warehouse they can use their yard or homes.

Sometimes you find that rent takes all the money so doing it at my place I will be able to save a lot.

And I’ll be able to work anytime I want, day or night, as I will be closer to my business.

Being unemployed is stressful!

If at least I can get Stanbic money I will be able to smile like everyone else.

This is very thoughtful of Debswana and Stanbic.

I thank them a lot.

Many youth in Boteti District are unemployed and it is worrisome.

I wish we can all look at these initiatives with a bright eye.

Stanbic and Debswana unite to help the little guy
Godknows Tlhabologo, 23, from Mmadikola

At least I have a plot so it will be easy for me to start my own business with the help of CEEP.

When I get home I have to brainstorm and see what business to do.

My mind also tells me to get the money and build apartments for rentals.

I am very happy with the beautiful words from the two companies that visited us today.

Currently I am working at Ipelegeng and the money that we get paid is not enough to sustain me.

It is only to buy food and then it’s finished!

Now I have hope of a better life.

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