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Bank lights up the power of dreams!



  MASERU-IT is a virus that has left few lives untouched. Our rituals as Basotho of how we mourn and say goodbye to our beloved dead have been scrapped. The way we worship has also been altered. Jobs too have been lost. There is palpable fear of a virus that has remained largely unknown. For some Basotho battling to keep hunger at bay, it is perhaps the fear of a loss of livelihoods rather than the virus itself that has kept them wide awake at night. But thanks to Standard Lesotho Bank, you can now sleep soundly after the bank launched a competition this week to support local companies hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The bank says it initiated the competition after realising that most companies in Lesotho are struggling to keep their doors open as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. To stay afloat, most businesses have resorted to retrenching workers. Others have cut salaries. Some companies are also struggling to service their loans. The competition will give up to nine businesses access to a share of a M600 000 pot in terms of capital grant to help them survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Basotho businesspeople have been encouraged to apply before October 16. The competition is open to non-Standard Lesotho Bank clients. Further information about the competition can be accessed on The intention of the competition is to provide financial support to enable businesses to re-stock and revive business activities, and also position them for success when economic activities go back to normal. The competition is open to businesses that are fully owned by Basotho nationals who are either sole proprietors, companies, partnerships or cooperatives that have been in operation for a minimum of three years and employing over three employees.   Furthermore, these businesses should have a turnover of between M300 000 up to M2 million. The businesses should be in the categories of retail, manufacturing, agriculture, services, food supply (not order catering) and infrastructure. “We believe that this competition will help to ignite the power of dreams within our entrepreneurs, and inspire hope in the communities that we serve so that we can revive our ailing economy together,” Thabiso Tsenki, who is the Standard Lesotho Bank Acting Chief Executive, said. Tsenki said the competition is also a clear demonstration of the commitment of the bank towards the growth of Basotho businesses. According to the Bureau of Statistics, SMMEs make up more than 80 percent of the local private sector, and employ approximately 55 000 of the total labour force. “Therefore, this competition will go a long way in resuscitating the economy and the livelihoods of Basotho,” Tsenki said. Standard Lesotho Bank was established in 1999 in a merger between the former Lesotho Bank and Standard Bank. With the asset book in excess of M9.2 billion, Standard Lesotho Bank commands over 50 percent of the market share and remains the number one bank in Lesotho and the most recognised financial services provider with representation in all the districts of the country. Lemohang Rakotsoane

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