There is nothing as beautiful as watching a woman rise above the stereotypes that have kept her ridden. It is without a doubt that the 21st century woman is not going to stop rising and ensuring that she cements her legacy because she is bold, intelligent and determined to rise.
Lesotho stands in unison to applaud the many women who keep doing extra-ordinary things to inspire young girls not to be afraid of dreaming. Beaming under Selibeng’s Spotlight is Ts’episo Lesenyeho, a 33-year-old lady who is the brains behind Lesotho’s first toilet paper manufacturing business.
Ts’episo was born and raised in Maseru, Lesotho. At her young primary school going age, she became independent and was sent to boarding school by her parents who worked around the clock. It was at that tender age that she learnt how to become the responsible young lady she is.
Today, she holds two Diplomas, namely, a diploma in Beauty Therapy from the Sandy Roy Beauty Therapy Institute and a diploma in Transportation Management and that was from the University of Johannesburg.
Miss Lesenyeho has always had a dream to manufacture toilet paper. Her independent and entrepreneurial mindset pushed her to launch the Boemo Toilet Paper business. In her own words, “Toilet paper has become such a luxurious product, you would swear it’s used for other purposes other than…”
She knew that it would be a bumpy ride because she did not have experience with manufacturing equipment but she persevered until she got help from other people. A year after founding this business, there is great progress with distribution.
In her own words, “A year later and we are still thumb sucking this process. We are currently still dealing with the following four channels of distributions: Direct Sales, Sales through Retailer, Sales through Wholesaler and Sales through Agents.”
It is without a doubt that perseverance is the most important ingredient to succeeding in a business. Miss Lesenyeho’s business is slowly getting recognition around the country. Boemo timely incorporates improvements required by consumers and it is a proud member of the Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); an entity which promotes SMMEs, and NEW entrepreneur’s growth and development through various initiatives and programs.
In addition, through The Entrepreneurs Network, Boemo was awarded an opportunity to attend the EYES workshop that was funded by the UNDP and other stakeholders. Subsequent to this event, Boemo received recognition and awarded opportunity to take part in a virtual conference with the World Bank representatives to address issues affecting the growth of SMMEs in the country.
Bob Burg’s best advice to businesspersons all over the world has always been simple: “Remember that as a businessman, regardless of your degrees, the first gift you give to consumers is yourself. Therefore, never stop improving who you are.”
Miss Lesenyeho is very much acquainted to the aforementioned advice, this is why she takes her personal growth as an entrepreneur very seriously. She emphasizes, “I have always been the kind of person to do things on my own in my own way. I am no longer the master of all trades and I’ve learned to ask for assistance and guidance where a need arises.”
As much as many motivational speakers love to talk about how perfectionism is a vice, Miss Lesenyeho uses it to keep her business afloat by converting it into a virtue. Boemo has taught her to be open to learning and it cultivates her accountability in everything.
She reports that she made a conclusion that it is necessary to share experience and be open to any suggestions. In addition, she always looks for new ways of promotion (even if the old ones work) and she is very willing to learn from the experience of others and not to imitate, but to adopt something useful for oneself.
Although her journey is far from over, she aspires to keep growing her business by acquiring a 50% market share and expanding into all districts of Lesotho. Boemo hopes to obtain support from large corporations such as the banks, telecommunication companies, mines, educational institutions, retail stores and governmental sectors.
She closes off by advising young girls to be brave enough to dream bigger dreams and aspire to become role models. She stated, “Do not rest until your dreams become your reality. God has instilled that idea in you because he saw you worthy. Also remember you aren’t going to be young for too long.”