Mbabane: In their quest to help small businesses MTN Foundation has pledged to print and produce COVID-19 modules which they will distribute to businesses across the country as part of training and fostering business acumen on young people.
This was revealed by Chairman of the Foundation, Busisiwe Simelane during the presentation of the E200 000 cheque in support of the Cija Ngebhizinisi radio programme third edition launch at the SEDCO Head Office in Mbabane on October 19, 2020.
According to the chairperson, this program is in line with one of MTN Foundation’s pillars – youth enterprise development, which seeks to address the challenge of youth unemployment.
Simelane mentioned that the modules on COVID-19 will cover subjects on survival strategies – something that has become critical in a time of unprecedented crisis, adding that without question, some entrepreneurs, who quickly identified business opportunities in the COVID-19 crisis have smiled to the bank.
“However, we should not discount the challenges that have been part of the COVID-19 challenge – some of which has been economic – like job losses, for instance,” said Simelane.
She mentioned that she trusted that the COVID-19 modules will empower entrepreneurs to swim against the COVID-19 tide – by identifying opportunities that would contribute to the improvement of quality of life for the people of Eswatini during this time.
She stated that as a foundation their contribution to the country’s economic recovery process is to support the development of youth entrepreneurs who will contribute to the acceleration of economic activities going forward.
We strongly believe that the program will fuel Eswatini’s entrepreneurship by enabling young and smart entrepreneurs to kick-off with their projects.
She said since the start of the program in 2018, it has been a privilege for the MTN Foundation to reach and engage with young people nationally. Last year, they reached 30 000 young people – which they believe is part of the process of inspiring a new breed of businesspeople, said Simelane.
The chairperson stated that she is thrilled with inspiring testimonies from the program beneficiaries; especially those who won seed capital in the past two years, adding that this is part of the evidence that the program is here to change the lives of our young entrepreneurs.
The chairperson stated that Cija Ngebhizinisi seeks to develop entrepreneurial literacy across the nation. This is because the program runs a radio programme which is accessible nation-wide. “As MTN Foundation, this programme allows us to spread our reach, by engaging the whole nation,” said the chairperson. It also enables the foundation to sow seeds in people who may not yet consider being entrepreneurs as an option. “We are confident though that the seed will, one day germinate – and we will see a new breed of entrepreneurs – passionate and prepared to take the business world by storm,” said the chairperson.
She encouraged entrepreneurs to participate in the program as if their lives depended on it, saying those who may not be part of the target may still benefit a wealth of information disseminated through the local language on national radio.