Step changes people’s lives

Some of the products Makoae produces

MASERU– despite the recession that grows daily across the world, everyone still has to do something so they see they put food on the table; especially in the part of the world (Lesotho) where 90 percent of the graduates have twisted the saying, “Education is the key to success” into “Education is the key to unemployment”.

Nts’iuoa Makoae went through the same route where she had lost hope in life after taking a long time without unemployed. She graduated from the National University of Lesotho in 2013 with the award of Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Then, she still had hope that she will be hired nevertheless, disappointment became an enemy of her soul when years past without anything.

“Sitting at home doing nothing, I heard about Student Training for Entrepreneurial promotion (STEP); I then decided to join.”

STEP is a free 12 module entrepreneurial training offered by Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO and the German National Commission for UNESCO entitled “Seeta Roadmap 2015”, the two National Commissions does this in collaboration with the German Leuphana University.

The main objective of the STEP training is to provide an answer to adverse labour market conditions and limited employment opportunities by providing trainees with knowledge and skills for an alternative career option: Self-employment.

In Lesotho preference is given to recent graduates from the following Institutions of Higher Learning: Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, National University of Lesotho, IEMS, Lerotholi Polytechnic, Lesotho Agricultural College and Centre for Accounting Studies. However, students from other institutions whose mind sets have been changed from being job seekers to job creators are also considered.

 

She explained that STEP brought back hope in her life as everything started to fall into place after learning those entrepreneurial skills.

She relates as thus

“After finishing the programme we submitted our proposals where LNDC through UNESCO promised to support the perfect and brilliant business ideas; fortunately, my business idea came out among the five that were chosen, so that is how I was able to buy some of the machines”, she revealed.

Asked on why she decided to sell yoghurts of all the business ideas that one could think of, she stipulated that the notion came about when she realized that Lesotho imports most of the dairy products.

 

“We do not have a manufacturing place of dairy products”, said an aspiring Mosotho girl.

 

In as much as she claims the business is so far doing well, Makoae still has a dream of providing big stores with her yoghurts.

Finalizing her interview, she called upon the government to land a hand to them as entrepreneurs to get in bigger markets so they can end up selling their products internationally.

“Also I would love to tell all the youth out there waiting to be employed or those that are still complaining about capital that for you to start with what you have. Don’t complain about capital.”

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