GABORONE, Botswana, February 2020/ — In continued efforts to drive a focused and powerful Youth Employability and Entrepreneurship Agenda premised on true impact and sustainability, Stanbic Bank Botswana has appointed Larona J. Makgoeng to the role of Head of Incubator at AcceleR8, Stanbic Bank’s youth co-working space located at Fairgrounds Mall.
Larona assumes the role with immediate effect, tasked with helping deliver on the mandate of the investment to change the narrative of youth in Botswana as regards employability and entrepreneurship.
Since you were appointed Head of Incubator at AcceleR8, what are some of the things you have focused on?
It has only been a few weeks but at a high level the integration of sustainability into the bank’s core businesses is an imperative that this role is tasked with. In our case our sustainability approach looks at the social, economic and environmental aspects and it is dubbed ‘SEE’. We are of the view that as a bank our sustainability and success are inextricably linked to the prosperity and opportunities that we can either create or unlock for all those involved in this relationship matrix of which we are a part of.
Who are some of the partners and stakeholders engaged to help deliver on the mandate of AcceleR8?
That is still evolving particularly as the issues that we seek to solve for are beyond us as Stanbic Bank Botswana. We are smart enough to acknowledge our limitations and that the best model that brings us near the desired success is one where we collaborate. Government is certainly one of them.
What are some of the developments and/or activities we can expect to see in the next few months at AcceleR8?
The place will be of absolute assistance to entrepreneurship development and employment opportunity enhancement for youth. We should expect innovation, creative development output and solution providing to what we face as a country. That is not to say things will be easy, but we will definitely work really hard.
What are some of the areas of growth or opportunity in this space that you have made your key priority?
Sustainability is not well developed in the country and that presents growth and opportunity. The opportunity further lies in taking a lead to demonstrate how we integrate among others environmental criteria and considerations into lending and investment strategy. As a lending institution we hold sway to positively influence and provide direction.
Upon launching, it was shared that this would be a youth-insights led and engaged investment. Can you unpack this further?
You are right, at the core of it the focus is youth, the country is theirs and it is them who have a significant balance of years to live. Our approach is that this intervention should run on their ideas. The design of any solution for this country should be through their lens.
How can young Batswana make the most of this incredible platform?
I think they must simply apply themselves and harness what has been availed for them. They must work hard to make the most of this offering.