"You will learn from your mistakes as a beginning entrepreneur. That is how you build an empire."

This is Michelle Mokgwathi, student at Young Africa Botswana. She started “The Gift Boutique”. Let’s hear how she build her first company.

“The concept was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. It resulted in me losing my job so I had to find a way to sustain myself. I offer gift packages. My ultimate goal is to become the most reliable and most trusted gift company in Botswana. And to expand our product line to attract global customers. For example: to manufacture gift packaging as well.

I have a Business degree in Entrepreneurship and Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University. I am also a consultant for SMEs and that has helped me gain the knowledge and skills to start any business. I participated in a 6 months entrepreneurship training program with future makers and Young Africa Botswana provided me key skills to apply to business ideas like financial literacy and market research. 

The challenges that I have experienced are  being stereotyped because of my gender: some investors do not want to do business with a woman. It is also easy to move around and hustle without experience when you are a man, because men are considered natural hustlers while women are not expected to be in the streets or have any hard skills. 

Getting products for the business is hard. They come from abroad and take months to be delivered. It is hard to compete with large companies that can afford to lower prices for the market and not be affected.


Michelle’s advice to other entrepreneurs is:

START!! You will definitely fail, but you will also learn from those mistakes. And that is how you build an empire. 

It’s a Bible verse: Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’