Botswana: Judith Kelebang-Forestry

Date: August 6, 2018
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My parent abused me, I would go for days without getting food and she will even refused to let me cook. Some days she will lock me outside the house. Because of this abuse, I suffered a heart disease and decided for Counselling. After Gender links training, I decided to open myself a business to support my family.

Ms Judith Kelebang is a resident of Maun who in identifying a gap in the forestry market started her forestry business in October 2014, producing varying trees and flowers. Having received mentorship from Gender Links Ms Kelebang now services a diverse clientele of schools, non-governmental organizations, government institutions as well as the locals. Amidst the stiff competition, she receives from larger institutions she manages to stay above it by selling distinct products that the competition does not provide. Ms Kelebang hired help to assist her twice a week in taking care of the plants and makes the effort to record her transactions on a cashbook.

Miss Kelebang currently has P5500 saved from the business. In the past 3 months, the business has amassed income of P23650 from sales of plants and flowerpots whilst incurring costs of P18100 from utilities, manure and plants purchased for resale. For the next 6 months, Miss Kelebang hopes to make P39350 from increased sales and has estimated her costs to be P27240.

Judith started the forestry business because she received training from Gender Links and she made some changes into the entire project where she took the responsibility to add some new hair products, staff, finding new markets, purchasing small and big equipment and increasing the working space for the business. She operates her business from her home.

The project entails of different challenges such as access to finance to manage her business, keeping records of the income and finding markets. Judith struggled with water for the trees and that negatively affected her business. Also it was very difficult for her to find markets for her business when she started but now she doing very well. After the training, she was able to operate a computer and she created an email address. She intends to buy a phone with Facebook and twitter so that she can use this platform to advertise her business.

Judith facilitated her project by utilizing her cell phone in different aspects. She participated in marketing in regards to her project through Text messages and not Whats App. She preferred to use text messages because it reaches a wide range of people. Ms Kelebang wishes to expand her business to be able to create employment opportunities and make use of modern technology to market her products.