Interview With Pareil Group’s Lemogang Senwelo! As we continue to celebrate Women’s Month we are putting the spotlight on entrepreneur Lemogang Senwelo, the co-founder of Pareil Group.
We recently had a chat with Lemogang who took us on a journey of how her company came to be and her achievements which includes being named one of only one hundred SADC top business people in 2018.
Check out the full interview with Lemogang below.
Q: What inspired The Pareil Group ? and what are some of the business under this group?
ANSWER: Pareil Group is a company I co-established with a long time varsity friend. Initially we were focused on Project management which involved Monitoring and evaluation of various projects starting from construction to mining projects to mention but a few. We ended up focusing on project management consultations and property development until the company folded due to uncontrollable circumstances. Pareil Group was our very first leap of faith since we had just graduated from university, it was our first born and it taught us the harsh realities of entrepreneurship. Later on I founded Connect Circle which focuses on stimulating foreign direct investment in Africa, main base being Botswana. Under Connect Circle I brought about the Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Summit, which is a Conference that brings together young African entrepreneurs to deliberate on different issues that affect the entrepreneurial environment in the continent.
Q: What has been some of the challenges you faced running the The Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Summit what can be done to create a more enabling environment? (How can government and corporate support this initiative better and why is it critical ?)
ANSWER: AYES as its famously known is an initiative by an African entrepreneur for African entrepreneurs and by virtue of that it means focus is on building an ecosystem for them. The challenge has always been trying to convince young people to join in on the movement of promoting partnerships with AYES and other entrepreneurs around the continent. It’s a fight we are still embarking on and a hopeful one nonetheless. In the past 3 summits that we have hosted we have been partnering with government through the Ministry of Youth and a couple of corporate companies. Support comes in different forms but the biggest support that will go a long way is for these entities to promote the significance of being engaged in youth initiatives, not only by monetary forms but also through development and empowerment.
Q: You have run the The Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Summit at least 3 times now. What have been some of the milestones of this project?
ANSWER: Ayes in the past 3 years has managed to host over 30 African countries with entrepreneurs from these countries sourcing ways to expand into Botswana of which others have already managed to set up their branches here. Partnerships have been formulated and we are anticipating a lot more of these positive outcomes to surface in the near future.
Q: What does The Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Summit 4.0 have in store for us?
ANSWER: Due to the recent Covid 19 outbreak the team has been working tirelessly to make sure AYES 4.0 becomes a success just like the rest but obviously things will be a little different but for the better. All I can say is Africa must and should be prepared for the 4th Annual Africa Entrepreneurs Summit. I’m not allowed to reveal much now as instructed by my bosses , haha.
Q: Let’s talk about Lemogang Senwelo Mentorship sessions, why mentorship?
ANSWER: Lemogang Senwelo mentorship programme is focused on giving basic mentorship to young aspiring entrepreneurs. I believe in mentorship so much, I wouldn’t be where I am had it not been my mentors. They moulded and guided me in so many ways that I can never find a better way to appreciate. Hence my decision to mentor those who are coming up. A special shout out to Teezzarh Seduke who really made sure my entrepreneurship journey becomes nothing but worthwhile. Thank you Boss! I’m still going on stronger each day.
Q: You champion Postpartum Depression in a community cause, why do you find this an important conversation and exercise?
ANSWER: In 2011 after I had my child I went through a terrible series of postpartum depression. 3 years later I founded Kitso Boswa Rehab which was focused on helping young mothers in business who are or were going through the same situation. Its not easy being a young mother, trying to finish school and running a business as well because actually that’s where I started, celling cellphones and fragrances at varsity. Depression is an issue that needs to be boldly discussed, it’s a phase that hits almost every young person and if we encourage talking about it and dealing with it as one we might beat it.
Q: You have been recognized on numerous platforms and recently The 2018 SADC Top 100 rising business people what drives you and what are some of the highlights of your career so far?
ANSWER: SADC Top 100 was one of my biggest milestones. It really opened opportunities for me locally. Recognition from biggest corporate companies, from international organizations as well. It really boosted my presence in the entrepreneurship space. The fact that I have successfully hosted 3 events and going on the 4th, that is my achievement. Nothing more nothing less. Consistency is key, my motto.
Q: What advise do you have for young people in Botswana looking at venturing into business?
ANSWER: My advice has always been the same for the past 5 years, if it burns you it probably means you should go for it.
Q: Where does Lemogang see herself in the next 5 years?
ANSWER: Lemogang Senwelo will still be an entrepreneur in the next 5 years. On a much bigger league but ill still be fighting for entrepreneurship development and youth empowerment.
Q: How can people connect with your projects ( Email / Web/ Social)
ANSWER: If anyone is interested in connecting more with me they can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. LinkedIn Lemogang Senwelo or Facebook Lemogang Kaone Senwelo and or our official Fcaebook page Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Summit.