Tshining Boikotlhao – Botswana

Tshining Boikotlhao – Botswana

Date: November 29, 2015
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“Your life is a message to the world. Make sure it is inspiring.”

I first encountered Gender Links in 2013. At that time I was struggling to understand certain things. I had given up on life itself but they managed to help me deal with the situation I was in and find ways to improve my well-being. I later realised that I was not the only person with issues and that there are people out there who have problems much bigger than mine which made me appreciate my life a little more.

I experienced abuse from my partner but I now know much more about abuse and its causes, its signs and ways to prevent it. I am now able to educate other people who do not understand the power of abuse and I explain how I managed to escape abuse by leaving my partner who did not treat me well. I always encourage people from my community to try and see the importance of being a business women. There is one lady from my community who listened and then decided to start her own business. She is selling hot dogs, airtime and sweets. I helped her by providing start-up capital and she paid me back.

I managed to attend all the phases of the entrepreneurship training arranged by Gender Links as they were of great importance. They taught us about the abuse of women in general and also how to start up businesses. They highlighted the fundamentals of business start-up, such as the importance of conducting market research and also securing premises where the business will be based. We also did our business plans and this was a very good foundation for our businesses.

As I was brainstorming what kind of business I might venture into, I thought of guinea fowl farming but decided to start a security company. The security company was inconsistent and so later I decided to shut it down. It was a bit challenging as men believe that it is their line of work and they did not respect me. Due to the courses provided by Gender Links I did not give up and I was inspired to start up another business. Now I have a laundry company. I started my company myself; I have not had any assistance from any company or organisation as yet. My family is very happy with my new life because now I can afford to pay school fees for my other child.

My challenges included a lack of funding for the business and also the fact that I changed from one project to another as I had lost funds for the previous project. The fact that most men still think that some jobs are not for women was a bit discouraging and I ended up changing businesses. I still want to continue the process of opening a security company as I have learnt a lot from Gender Links. I am now empowered and motivated to venture into the first business that I started. The challenges of the laundry business are shortages of water and electricity.

Due to the help I received from Gender Links my life has significantly improved and my main aim is to go back and register a security company. Then I will seek more tenders for my security and laundry companies. By 2030 my vision is to be a successful businesswoman who will be recognized nationwide.


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