Series I

Lebopo Bulayani (Botswana)

Not only did covid 19 change lives of entrepreneurs, depressed us, but it also made us think of ways in which we can survive and adapt to the changing times of this world hit deadly disease.For the first time in 3 years of my business operation I was forced to close down my business and wasn’t left with any choice as I knew the implications of not listening to the national order and I feel the first lockdown in Botswana was way better as we were given subsidies to keep us going despite closure of businesses. Rent pays were suspended and at least I did not have to worry about rent and my employed payments for the 1st quarter of 2020 lockdown. After a month or two we were allowed to open businesses and while we were trying to  recover a week down the line we closed again and this time around subsidies were stopped and we had to make sure we pay rent, with what ? I also didn’t have any idea but we had to make sure our business spaces are still secured. As hard as this was, I tried hard to make ends meet, made specials to try attract customers to come to the spa and only a few made it through yes with so many reasons attached to this, the main one was that we were all still confused and wanted to stay home and not be going up and down being touched by strangers though we tried by all means to abide by covid 19 protocols. Was the government subsidy too early?? Yes I would say as much as it was a reliever, this was a time when Botswana didn’t even have any death related to covid and if only the nation could have waited to assist us at a time like this it would have been better. Not only did I want to give up but this has really affected my employees as I had to cut them, some got half pays and this was not easy at all. Unlike other businesses I never shut down through all this stressful pandemic changes, I still stand and try so hard to make sure my business is still relevant, at this point we are all about if we can pay rent and employees, no profits and we really hustle to even make stock replenishment as the little savings we had covered up and it’s not gone really down. As a business and social entrepreneur both my line of market were really hit, for the 1st time in 5years I didn’t host my annual Miss Independence Kgatleng a pageant for the youth and this was a such a challenge as yes a brand has to be kept relevant and how do I do it? I then decided to come up with an initiative to ask friends and family to help with donations which we made to a home for the less privileged and orphans as well as an orphanage day care center and in this way our name is still out there and we still touch lives. This is a time when now we sit down as the youth and ask ourselves, what digital methods can we use to sustain our businesses? What can we do to remain relevant? Measures as visual pageantry and production of products for sale is what can only work for me in the future as now I see how hard it is to still Dominate in corona times.
Still I stand and hope to come out of this hard pandemic days stronger and better, to other youth out there … never give up soldier on 💪

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