Self-made entrepreneur, business executive and mentor Blondie Malope wants to share his knowledge and success with the unemployed youth in the communities around him.
Born in Gabane in October 1980, Malope has a diploma in business management and has attended sales management courses locally and outside the country. He has 14 years of experience as a business executive, having worked for BOTFIC Chemicals, Mosienyane & Partners International and Orange Botswana.
Malope is currently group chairman of two property companies. Mafika Properties was established in 2007 and specialises in commercial property acquisition and development. Mafika Rise Properties was established in 2010, and focuses on residential plot acquisition and development.
Malope has invested significant personal resources in encouraging unem- ployed youth to become entrepreneurs. He has both organised and fully funded workshops for this purpose, with up to 50 participants at a time.
In these workshops, participants are mentored on how to think through a business idea, generate start-up income and on how to drive their businesses forward. Four of these workshops have been held in the last two years, in February and November 2015, and in May and June 2016. Malope believes these workshops, in which over 400 unemployed youth have participated, have produced capable young businesspeople. He can share numerous examples of individuals who have since ventured into many different businesses.
One young participant, Abigail Molabatho, was assisted by Malope in acquiring a trading licence. She started her own internet cafe in Gabane, known as Tu-nyc Services. The business has been able to expand its client base, and it now even tenders for building contracts with both government and parastatal institutions. It recently won a tender to construct three council houses in Serowe, and this project alone created work for eight young people.
Another success story to share is Base One and Tumantle Fast Bakery, which is owned by four young women. They formed a bakery business in Gabane, and today have two bakeries that supply not only the Gabane community, but also the local primary schools.
After attending one of Malope’s workshops, one local Gabane resident, who had suffered retrenchment, was able to start a poultry business in Gaphatswa.
In Malope’s own words, “my investment in time, money and mentoring has resulted in many dreams coming true, with goals being achieved and employment being created”. He wants to continue to inspire, coach and mentor young people to venture into business.