LULOTE WIDENS THE NET TO COVER INFORMAL SECTOR
Lulote Director Patrick Masirarambi (second left) and CIEAS’s Mathokoza Sikhondze pose for a picture during the signing of the MoU recently

LULOTE WIDENS THE NET TO COVER INFORMAL SECTOR

LULOTE BMEP has embarked on an initiative to support and capacitate entrepreneurs in and around Manzini with business skills. This is in response to the economic challenges currently faced by the country, which threatens SMMEs. LULOTE BMEP stands for Luhlelo Lolunotsisa Temabhizinisi Business Management Extension Programme. Based in Manzini, Lulote BMEP was established in 1986 for the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture to both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in the country. The purpose of LULOTE BMEP is to provide business training and consultancy
services to both emerging and established Eswatini entrepreneurs, institutions and businesses. LULOTE’s Training and Business Development Officer Sindi Simelane said it was disturbing to note that a number of small enterprises were not successful because of knowledge and business management skills among a number of reasons. She said this suggested that there was a need to help SMMEs get a better understanding on how to improve performance. She said the first phase of the program would commence soon, whereby her organization would be working with a total of 50
entrepreneurs operating in Manzini. The entrepreneurs will be tutored on business management and financial
literacy. They will also be provided with mentoring and coaching visits during the first phase. “LULOTE BMEP came to the recognition that there is a tremendous potential within the informal business sector for it to become a major role player in sustaining the livelihoods of many people and, it is for that reason that as an organization we are embarking on such an initiative,” said Simelane. She added that LULOTE BMEP in collaboration with the Coalition of Informal Economy Association in Swaziland (CIEAS) believes that the efficiency of these informal
businesses needs to be improved by removing some constraints which hinder their success and growth. “Informal sectors relieve unemployment pressures, reduce household poverty and contribute to the local economy, thus their case should be taken into more consideration,” she said. Not so long ago, LULOTE and CIEAS signed a Memorandum of
Understanding at LULOTE offices in Manzini with the aim of broadening the business mindset of informal traders, where the two organizations pledged to implement all programs that would be of great value and impact. Simelane said entrepreneurs were the root to economic development and they needed to be taken seriously. She then pleaded for their full participation and commitment in the course of the program. Going forward, LULOTE is forecasting on
grooming the entrepreneurs through capacitating and mentoring them to a level where they were ready to stand on their own. The next phase of the program to be tackled is business plan development since the informal traders needed to access finances for growing their businesses.

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