Gaborone — Sir Richard Branson, a British business tycoon and investor, has urged entrepreneurs to think globally in terms of starting and growing their businesses. He said this during an engagement at the Global Expo Botswana in Gaborone on November 2.
Sir Richard Branson, founder and owner of the Virgin Group, a global conglomerate consisting of over 400 companies with an estimated net worth of $5.6 billion in 2016, encouraged entrepreneurs to look beyond the shores of Botswana for business.
"Think globally don't just think Botswana. Africa and the world are your market," said Sir Richard Branson, adding that with the Internet "you can do a lot more to reach the global market."
He also told entrepreneurs that although Botswana was facing the challenge of youth unemployment there were lots of opportunities and gaps in the market that they could pursue.
He said budding entrepreneurs should find a way to bridge the gap.
He suggested that they could tap into successful tourists who visited the Okavango Delta.
He noted that the tourists came in and out of the country, and that they did not spend money in the country besides at the lodges they stayed and suggested that it was a gap in the market.
He said Botswana was special as it had the Okavango Delta and wildlife which was protected.
He added that there were other markets that Botswana could look at that were untapped such as renewable energy, which could help reduce the carbon footprint on earth.
He said it was unfortunate that the country discovered coal when the world was turning away from coal because of its harmful effects, saying local entrepreneurs could perhaps explore the possibility of manufacturing solar panels in order to harness the abundant sun in the country.
Sir Richard Branson also encouraged young people to be responsible for their brand.
"Reputation is all you have and don't let the brand down," he said.
Furthermore, he told aspiring entrepreneurs said that "to start a business you have to overcome the fear of failure," and that "the sooner you start a business the better."
Source : BOPA