Youth & Women-Led enterprises supported to better understand the entrepreneurship landscape

In a political and economic ecosystem where women and youth participate meaningfully to achieve sustainable economic development, women and youth-led enterprises must understand government regulations, laws and policy decision processes within the economic ecosystem.

An essential component of this process is the interrelated cooperation of different stakeholders, including the government, business, civil society, academia and marginalised groups of women and youth.

Like other African states, Lesotho requires women and youth-led economic initiatives to fuel the engines of any economy. Due to a lack of government support, SMEs and CSOs fail. They fail early in operations or, as they grow, attributed to factors such as lack of access to finances, managerial incompetence, government support, infrastructure, and the enterprise landscape they operate.

The supportive regulatory and policy processes towards the emergence of new entrepreneurial ventures shaping and creating markets rest on the state’s responsiveness to business needs and changing legislation and enterprise standards. On the other hand, the enterprises’ and CSOs’ failure to appreciate the ecosystem in which they operate hinders their growth and participation in policy formulations and identifying technical opportunities to help them prosper and alleviate asymmetries hindering socio-economic development and employment creation.

With this in mind, Democracy Works Foundation and FIDA, with the financial support of the European Union Delegation in Lesotho, have invited youth and women to capacity enhancement and knowledge-sharing workshops to be held under the theme ” How Government Works.” These will be facilitated in a series of three training workshops beginning December 2022 to February 2023. The workshops will, among other things, aim to enhance meaningful participation of the women and youth-focused CSOs and local enterprises in policy decision-making processes and the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

DWF will host two days of training workshops for the introductory module on Understanding Lesotho’s Entrepreneurship Landscape to be held in Leribe, Butha Buthe and Maseru Districts on the 13th – 14th December 2022, 15th – 16th December 2022 and 19th – 20th December 2022, respectively.

The workshops target youth and women-led CSOs and enterprises to understand better the enterprise ecosystems, the different local and national government institutions, and the procedures in this ecosystem. Representatives from the youth ministries, the office of the District Administration, the office of the District Council Secretary and the Town Clerk will also be in attendance.

This workshop is one of the various interventions undertaken by DWF, through the Putting Youth and Women in the Centre of Inclusive Economic Growth project, to assist Lesotho’s youth and women-led CSOs and enterprises gain a holistic overview of the government institutions that form part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Kahisano Kolobe, Country Project Manager.

The PYWIEG project aims to strengthen socio-economic development initiatives and the employability of youth and women of Lesotho while also building state responsiveness in the entrepreneurship ecosystem towards inclusive economic growth.

For more information on the Putting Youth and Women in the Centre of Inclusive Economic Growth project, contact DWF:
Kahisano Kolobe, Country Project Manager

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Kahisano has 10 years of experience in the development sector where she has served as a Human Rights activist and youth development worker. She also has experience in projects of governance, enterprise development, civic education, leadership, youth development, health, public policy and education.

The highlights of her work include being a member of the Local Education Group, a National educational planning team, co founding the Accessible Education, Development and Leadership – an organisation that promotes access and equity to health and education. She also won the 2020 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer by Genderlinks Barometer awards and serves as the Secretary General for the Common Wealth Young Women in Local Government Network Lesotho Chapter.

Kahisano’s key interests lie in youth development and access to education for marginalised groups.

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