Laone gains confidence as a leader and entrepreneur

Laone doubted her entrepreneurial skills until Futuremakers by Standard Chartered gave her the confidence she needed to set up a business helping young people.

Having earned a Masters’ degree in Counselling and Human Services last year, 25-year-old Laone was so unsure of her talent that she was offering counselling services for free.

Everything changed when she joined a Futuremakers entrepreneurship project, delivered by Young Africa Botswana (YAB). The project enhances the skills of qualified young people in Botswana, closing the gap between their abilities and market demands. It combines practical examples of entrepreneurship with life-skills training that builds leaders.

Becoming a leader

Laone’s expectations of getting on the course were initially slim. “I had the perception that I’m not an entrepreneur. I always thought my introverted nature would hold me back business-wise, or not allow me to pursue opportunities beyond my comfort zone.”

Succeeding in her application changed her view. During the project, Laone increased her leadership skills and now has the self-belief and resources she needs to “go the entrepreneurial route”. She has just registered her business – a career clinic offering youth counselling services – with the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) and the Botswana Counselling Association.

Opportunities in work-scarce areas

Work prospects for emerging professionals and scholars are scarce in Laone’s village of Lehututu, where the main work is rearing cattle. She had to move to the capital Gaborone to complete her studies.

But Laone believes the path to becoming an entrepreneur is worth exploring anywhere. You just need “the right resources, mentorship/guidance, and projects such as this one, especially with the high numbers of unemployment and the outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen many people unable to work or provide from themselves”.