Announcing the Ye! Botswana First Cohort

Media Advisory

Building digital and financial skills for youth in Botswana: Announcing the Ye! Botswana first cohort

1 September 2021

Gaborone, Botswana and Geneva, Switzerland

The International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Youth and Trade Programme in collaboration with Botswana Innovation Hub and Botho University, have officially kicked off the Ye! Botswana Skill Building and Mentoring Programme – a 4-month programme for youth-led business that will focus on digital skills and financial literacy. The first cohort of 40 youth entrepreneurs will begin activities in September 2021. Activities will be led by local and international experts from the ITC, BIH and various partners.

The Ye! Botswana Skill Building and Mentoring programme aims to support youth-led enterprises (with a founder under the age of 35) to enhance their digital skills, financial literacy, and market analysis and comparative skills by linking them with mentors and taking them through various workshops to help them enhance their skills and scale their enterprises. All enterprises in this programme are legally registered and active in the market for more than 1-year.

The Ye! Botswana Skill Building and Mentoring Programme’s focus on three areas is premised upon the results of a needs assessment survey the partners ran in April 2021. In collaboration with the Ye! Advisor to ITC – Neo Mosimane, the Co-Founder of Romatic Coffee, Botho University and BIH, the organisations build a series of engagements and a focus on specifics skills understood to be lacking and in high demand by local youth entrepreneurs. The youth entrepreneurs who participate in this programme showed a strong desire to enhance their skills in the three main focus areas: digital skills, financial literacy, and market intelligence.

The programme is sector agnostic and supports youth entrepreneurs from regions across the country. Due to the current public health situation, the programme will be hybrid supporting activities online and in-person.

Launching 1st September 2021, the first cohort will be invited to an introductory kick of launch event to connect with the other selected enterprises, learn about the organisers and the content.

More information on the partners can be found below. To learn more about the Ye! Community for youth entrepreneurs, click here.

 About the International Trade Centre (ITC)

In line with the joint mandate from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), ITC focuses on trade-related technical assistance, assisting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development.

ITC’s Youth and Trade Programme supports young people and youth-owned MSMEs. The programme takes a strategic, market-led approach to building youth entrepreneurship and employability. The pillars of the Youth and Trade programme help youth voices to be heard, connect and train young people, and deliver results with country-based projects and an enhanced mainstreaming approach. The strategic objective for 2021 is to equip 100,000 young people with market-relevant skills. The ITC’s Youth and Trade Programme empowers young people and youth entrepreneurs to become more competitive and connected to international markets for trade and investment, thus raising incomes and creating more job opportunities.

To learn more about ITC’s Youth & Trade Programme, visit the ITC website. To visit the Youth & Trade Programme’s platform for youth entrepreneurs, click here.

About Botswana Innovation Hub

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is a networked organisation that promotes innovation and technology entrepreneurship. Its primary goal is to support the commercialisation of solutions developed by BIH supported entities.

BIH was established to contribute towards the diversification of the economy and transform Botswana towards a knowledge economy by:

  • Supporting start-ups and existing companies to grow by providing innovation capacity building as well as access to funding and national technology transfer office services
  • Creating linkages between different players in the national innovation ecosystem to identify and capitalize on collaboration opportunities
  • Attracting like-minded, innovative and technology driven companies and institutions to establish their operations in the Park
  • Managing and developing the Science and Technology Park to create a thriving innovation ecosystem

The organisation has two subsidiaries namely Botswana Innovation Hub Properties (BIHP) and Botswana Innovation Hub Investments (BIHI). BIHP’s mandate is to develop and manage the Science and Technology Park and BIHI is a special purpose vehicle established to serve as the Hub’s investment arm. Its role is to attract, invest in and manage commercially viable and technology related investments.

Botho University

Botho University (BU) was established in Botswana in 1997 and has rapidly evolved over the years to become a leading multidisciplinary high-quality tertiary education provider in the SADC region.

Botho University was one of the first local tertiary institutions in Botswana to be accredited by the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) and by BQA in 2018 as an Awarding Body under the new BQA regulation.

All programmes are approved by the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA), the Council on Higher Education (CHE) in Lesotho and the National Council for Higher Education in Namibia. Botho University currently offers programmes through five faculties, namely: Faculty of Business & Accounting, Faculty of Computing, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health and Education and Faculty of Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism.bout Botho University.

ITC Youth & Trade Programme Contact            Botswana Innovation Hub Contact

Claire Sterngold

Ye! Community Manager

International Trade Centre



Rebi Odirile

Communications Officer

Botswana Innovation Hub


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