Botswana: Laundry Lady Serves Tsabong

Tsabong — Tsholofelo Lucas is one of those who did not let her high qualifications shun menial or household chores, as she turned laundry into a profitable business.

Born and raised in Tsabong, 31-year-old Lucas said she started the laundry business out of both passion and necessity, because when she realised that lady luck was not on her side after completing tertiary education as there were no job opportunities, she got thinking and voila! A business was born.

Ms Lucas stated that after completing the internship programme, which ran for two years, she needed to come up with ways to better her life and because she had always had a dream of running her business, she did not wait.

She stated that she did her market research, which revealed that laundry services were not available in the area and so she grabbed the opportunity with both hands and fully capitalised on it.

Ms Lucas said she approached the gender affairs department in 2015 to seek some funding and her application was approved in June 2016.

She said the business was funded to the tune of P 100 000, which she used to buy all the necessary equipment for the business.

She said the business became fully operational in May 2017 after the Local Enterprises Authority (LEA) helped her with a business proposal, budgeting and proper business management.

Ms Lucas said she paid benchmarking visits to other laundry service shops in Gaborone and Jwaneng to gain more experience and to better understand the machines.

She said the industrial machines that she uses are perfect for the job as they speed up the process compared to smaller machines.

She said the business started on a low note, but is now gaining momentum as at first, the clients had mixed feelings about the services she offers, but are getting more and more comfortable with her.

She said although the business is doing well, it is not moving at the speed she had anticipated.

She said most of her clients are civil servants.

Ms Lucas said the local community is fully supportive and people from neighbouing villages sometimes bring in their laundry, which she said shows growth in the business.

She said she plans to expand her business from laundry service and turn it into a dry cleaning service.

She said her main challenge is the high rental payment, which she said eats into her profits.

Ms Lucas urged other youths to be focused whenever they venture into business, saying although it is not easy, it is doable if one is prepared to face the challenges.

Source : BOPA

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