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By Neo Kolane
The Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO) has kicked off its nationwide flea markets aimed at giving entrepreneurs access to market their products.
The first flea market was held at BEDCO premises in Mafeteng last Friday and more are expected across the country.
In an interview with theReporter, the executive head of enterprise development at BEDCO, Lemphane Lesoli, explained that a flea market is the first place for entrepreneurs to showcase their products at a low cost.
He said BEDCO uses flea markets to help Basotho to know about exhibitions and available products.
“The flea market aims to provide a dynamic platform for micro, small medium enterprises to showcase their diverse range of products and services to a wide audience of prospective customers, partners, and stakeholders’ thus facilitating networking and sales opportunities,” he explained.
Lesoli noted that BEDCO’s flea markets started before 2000s and were held quarterly but they were suspended due to COVID-19 and other challenges.
“BEDCO assists businesses and entrepreneurs to have access to new markets.
“We also want to encourage and show people who have interest in business where to start.
“We want our people to have means to promote a culture of entrepreneurship,” he pointed out.
He further explained that there is no limit to the number of entrepreneurs when it comes to flea markets, citing this is determined by the space available at the venue.
Lesoli said to be part of BEDCO’s flea markets entrepreneurs pay a fee of M250 per stall, but other stalls are subsidized and given for free depending on certain conditions.
“The success of every business is access to market, if you do not have a market for your product, you do not have a business,” he advised.
He further encouraged people with products or services to provide to take part in the flea markets.
There is no business without a market, he noted, emphasizing that the more one grows their market the more the venture grows.
BEDCO is a parastatal of the government of Lesotho that was established by an Act of Parliament: BEDCO Act No.9 of 1980 (as amended) mandated to promote the development of Basotho-owned enterprises and indigenous entrepreneurial skills.