In an effort to nurture local youthful entrepreneurs Go-to Market boot camp – collaboration between Stanford Graduate School of Business and De Beers Group of Companies – has been launched aimed at shaping and polishing the business ideas of aspiring entrepreneurs.
The partnership launched last year saw De Beers Group splashing a US$3 million investment in a three-year partnership with Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) to empower young, aspiring entrepreneurs and established business-owners in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Officiating during the launch of the second GTM boot camp cohort in Gaborone recently, the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOTE) Thapelo Olopeng commended the outstanding partnership between the two entities in promoting entrepreneurship amongst the youth.
He said his ministry is tasked with transforming the country’s economy from a resource to knowledge-based economy. Hence the Go-to –Market facilitated by the two’s partnership, he said, goes a long way in ensuring economic diversification, leading to creation of thousands jobs in a transformed economy.
Olopeng further said through the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) which also spearheads the programme, his ministry will use the training to encourage entrepreneurs to go into research and develop technologies, innovations for transformation.
“It is through initiatives such as these that young people are accorded opportunities to learn and develop skills they can export to the global market. In this connection, we need the private sector to help nurture initiatives that can develop our entrepreneurs, hence the De Beers, Stanford and BIH partnership,” reckoned Olopeng.
Olopeng hailed the initiative, saying it was contributing to a culture of research and innovation that is gradually being established in Botswana.
“The initiative such as the De Beers Stanford partnership plays a vital role in fostering the growth and prosperity of high-potential business destinations such as Botswana. They help to catalyze greater prosperity and make Botswana a better place to do business,” he added.
De Beers Group Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, Pat Dambe said De Beers is committed to developing entrepreneurship amongst various sectors of the economy, more particularly towards the youth.
She singled out the Shining Light Awards initiative as another that together with Go-to-Market partnership adds to the company’s commitment in grooming aspiring entrepreneurs.
Dambe remained optimistic that more similar partnerships will be formulated as a result of the partnership with Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Stanford Go-to–Market is an intensive, one-week entrepreneurship boot camp, taught by the Stanford GSB faculty. Through a combination of lectures, case studies and small-group discussions, it helps entrepreneurs gain the confidence and skills to commercialise their business ideas and accelerate their route to the market.
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