Over the last five years, KBL and BBL have invested P5 million, P 1 million a year into the programme, training at least 20 young Batswana. Every year the programme has funded five new and existing enterprises, which now stand at 20. Over the last five years, some 120 Batswana youth, selected annually for entrepreneurship mentoring, have benefited.
Speaking in an interview with Monitor Business, Matshela said the P5 million they had spent over the last five years was money well spent. He said considering the dependence ratio in Botswana, one job sustains six people. "If you create one job you are supporting six more people who benefit from that person, so this initiative has a multiplier effect on our society."
" It is our ambition and desire to continue this initiative, under difficult circumstances.
The absolute resolve remains for us to fund-raise and continue what has been a phenomenal project so far," Matshela said.
The KBL and BBL started experiencing a knockdown effect in their profits over the Christmas holidays when the new 30 percent levy on alcohol beverages kept customers away, as the product became expensive. Government has also stopped alcohol advertisement and sponsorship on national television and in local sports as an attempt to fight alcohol abuse in the country.
At the announcement of the annual Kickstart winners on Friday, five were declared, with Kasane-based tour operator Mabuta Morongwe of Malachite Safaris scooping the Best Performing Business award plus P20, 000.
Other four winners were already existing businesses, which qualified for funding to enable them to expand. They are Candle manufacturing company, Endless candles & Things. It is based in Gaborone. The company seeks to go commercial and supply candles for home as well as decorative use.
Another winner is Khoisan designs, a steel manufacturing company already supplying furniture to shops in Riverwalk. Bicycle importer and repairers, John Moore was another winner. His company repairs and distributes bicycles. A Tsabong-based hair salon, Step Ahead, also will receive funding to expand its operations.
According to KBL, 83 percent of all Kickstart projects have gone on to be successful entities. This year alone 600 applications for funding have been received.