Botho University Launches Entrepreneurship Laboratory
On 7th June 2016 Botho University’s Student & Alumni Affairs Department (SAAD) launched the Entrepreneurship Laboratory (E-Lab), envisioned to identify, mentor, incubate, connect and support outstanding student entrepreneurs and facilitate their success.
On the day of the launch several groups of entrepreneurs presented their business ideas to a panel of judges and the top four were then selected to be hosted in the E-lab. The four winning companies were Nex Fex Solar Panels & Water Engines, Diligent Youngsters Insurance Company, Gamers Pub and Pass Rate Doctors.
Invited dignitaries included the Gaborone City Mayor, Hon. Kagiso Thutlwe, Gaborone Bonnington South Member of Parliament, Hon. Ndaba Gaolathe and his Councillor, Hon. Charles Pereko. Botho University management including Vice-Chancellor Mrs. Sheela Ram, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Employability & Development, Mrs. Priya Iyer, Dean, Office of Students, Research & Outreach, Dr. Bathsheba Mbongwe and the institution’s Board of Directors were also in attendance.
During his Keynote speech, Mr. Thabo Thamane, Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA) CEO, said that this initiative proves Botho University’s commitment to helping aspiring entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into innovate solutions that can contribute to the country’s social and economic development.
He also took the opportunity to encourage all the representatives of important organisations in attendance to pledge towards ensuring that the E-Lab becomes a success. “Let us all find ways in which our respective organisations can best support and nurture this programme to grow,” implored Thamane. “Its success will not only reflect well on Botho University, but also on the business community and Botswana in general.”
Finally, Thamane also congratulated all the entrepreneurs who pitched their ideas on the day of the launch, declaring “You’re being here means that you have already moved beyond thinking about what the country can do for you to what you as purposeful beings can contribute to the country. I cannot overemphasise how immensely proud and inspired I am of all of you here. Good luck and do not be afraid to knock on doors. No one will hear you when you do not speak.”
Through the Entrepreneurship Lab, students will be encouraged to develop and pursue entrepreneurial ventures in areas related to their academic pursuits. The lab will host activities such as a speaker series with alumni entrepreneurs and other members of our entrepreneurship community, training workshops focused on relevant skills and field trips where necessary to connect with the broader start-up communities across Botswana.