Loeto’s Business Idea Pays Off [opinion]

| April 27, 2015

When Mr Israel Loeto of Old Naledi in Gaborone started a dog shelter production business in 2010, little did he know that one of his hands would be on any creation that could be carved out of wood.

Today, Mr Loeto’s dog shelter business has expanded to include farm houses, guard houses, toilets, chairs, tables, beds, and room dividers, among a plethora of wooden products.

He said in an interview that he mostly used idle planks that he bought or gathered from industrial areas and retail shops, a good idea for recycling and reuse for a clean environment.

His products are self-marketing in that he just displays them along the roads for people passing by to see and develop an interest that will urge them to buy the products.

The wood carver says in most cases he depends on his customers to market his products to other areas where he is not visible.

“I have employed three workers and each of whom can produce a dog kennel every day,” he says, adding that his is not a mass production enterprise because he does not have storage facilities as such he produces goods as per orders.

Mr Loeto notes that they often appeal to the Gaborone City Council (GCC) for factory shelters without success, adding that during rains it becomes a difficult to work as his business halts and the material gets damaged.

Further, because he operates in an open space, wicked folks from the neighborhood steal his planks for firewood, particularly during the winter season because his business is not guarded at night.

Another challenge comes from occasional raids by the council’s byelaw enforcement officers who always complain that they have turned the area into an eyesore with their sawdust and wood cut offs.

Mr Loeto says his business is self-sponsored, initially from the little savings that he had made while he was working for other companies.

He says he studied construction with Botswana Christian Council (BCC) around 1990 and was tested at Madirelo Trades Testing Centre (MTTC) in 1992 where he attained his qualifications.

With his vast experience, the entrepreneur is willing to train youth on his carpentry skills at no cost, he assures, adding that the training may take a week or more depending on the level of competency displayed by the learner.

Mr Loeto is a living testimony that the government’s perennial calls for self-reliance through poverty eradication initiatives do not go unheeded hence Botswana is slowly but surely achieving some of its economic empowerment goals.

Botswana’s goal is to surpass the Millennium Development Goal target of reducing extreme poverty by half by 2015 therefore, the country has taken a bold step to shift from poverty reduction to poverty eradication.

The Poverty Eradication Programme will assist in attaining food security and thus improve the livelihoods of Batswana.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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