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LCCI to thank MSMEs



MASERU – THE Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) will this month host a gala dinner to thank companies that assisted small businesses during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The LCCI said it will give awards to companies that helped Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) between 2020 and 2021. “We saw it befitting to applaud and show appreciation for these businesses for their efforts,” Fako Hakane, secretary-general of the LCCI, said yesterday. The awards, Hakane said, will be announced on March 18 at the Victory Hall during a gala dinner, marking the end of The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) exhibition held at the Maseru Mall in November last year. The gala was delayed due to the surge of the omicron variant that resulted in a tightening of Covid-19 regulations. “There will also be an auction of an oil painting by a renowned local painter,” Hakane said. “The funds raised through the sale of this painting will be directed towards assisting MSMEs to fight some of their challenges,” he said. Rethabile Shale, director of TEN, said there was an aid in the form of funds and stock to assist MSMEs to get back on their feet in 2020 and 2021. Shale indicated that because Covid-19 disrupted the way businesses used to operate they have also found it important to assist local MSMEs to avail their products to international markets. “Following the Dubai expo 2020 we received funding to enable Basotho producers to sell their products through digital platforms hence the birth of iMall,” Shale said. The iMall is a platform that local MSMEs can access to list their products or service offerings and appeal to a wider audience. The gala dinner, she added, will also be an event to launch the iMall to local MSMEs that are not yet part of the platform. “The iMall is just the facilitator between the producer and the consumer,” she said. When a transaction needs to happen the consumer and the producer will be connected to discuss it. “We do not have an e-commerce platform yet as we have realised that most MSMEs are not yet at that stage but eventually we will get there,” Shale said. The partnership between LCCI and TEN, she said, is a result of a common interest in growing existing MSMEs and cultivating the spirit of entrepreneurship for those who are not yet in business.  

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