The Botho University Entrepreneurship Lab or Elab as it is commonly known, was launched in June 2016 by the CEDA CEO, Mr Thabo Thamane with intentions to provide a space where students across the curricular spectrum will come together to share ideas, access resources, and come up with innovative approaches to problem solving. The launch was graced by stakeholders from the industry including banks, the government, and business owners.
Basically, the Elab is like an in-house incubator which supports students and graduates’ entrepreneurs or those aspiring to be entrepreneurs. Students and Graduate entrepreneurs are selected to be a part of the Elab after a rigorous selection process where their idea or business is whetted by experts from industry and academia.Those selected become members of the Elab are called as Elab Residents. Every year the Elab supports about 5 Elab residents.
The Elab operates from the Botho University, Gaborone Campus in Botswana. The Elab is managed by the Student and Alumni Affairs Department (SAAD) at Botho University.
The ELab was established with the following in mind:
- To encourage students and alumni to develop ideas into innovative solutions that can in the short or long run be turned into entrepreneurial ventures. This is as a result of a growing demand from the community of student-entrepreneurs to create a space to collaborate and turn their bursts of genius into something tangible. The Elab is an initiative meant to assist the Botho University students and graduates to identify practical applications to current issues, problems, and needs.
- To identify, mentor, incubate, connect and support outstanding student/alumni-entrepreneurs and facilitate their success beyond Botho University, into the community
The Elab offers the following major activities to selected student and graduate entrepreneurs:
- Dedicated Mentorship
- Expert Coaching/Trainings/Workshops
- Seed Funding
- Entrepreneur Competency Analysis & Development Intervention
- Office Space
- Secretarial Services
Currently the Elab is in its 4th year of operation. The Elab 2020 cohort comprises of 4 residents namely:
If you are interested in becoming involved with the Elab as a mentor, please click here.
Botho University through its BLENDED AND DISTANCE LEARNING CAMPUS delivered a series of successful webinars on "Online Teaching e-Pedagogy" starting from 28th April 2020 through 8th May 2020 across its 4 physical campuses successfully training over 1000 participants. One of the 5 webinars that were conducted, included a SPECIAL SESSION FOR THE STUDENT COMMUNITY as well. The webinars, which were delivered fully online was well received by enthusiastic participants. BU received numerous positive feedback from various individuals about their experience and the course content which came as a boon to most, as they were battling the many challenges of work from home / study from home issues due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The training was aimed to educate participants on the nuts and bolts of online teaching e-pedagogy and educational technology. Botho University is committed to supporting the community at large during this testing time. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic BU from its Botswana campus donated P150,000 (P100,000 March 2020, P50,000 May 2020) to the Government of Botswana. Similarly, a value of M100,000 (Maloti one hundred thousand) was donated towards the Lesotho Covid-19 relief fund. In addition to the cash initiatives, as reported in the previous round up (Apr 27 | 048) BU Gaborone Campus provided full access to its alumni for the production of hand sanitizers for her company "Organic Material Skincare". This access to BU's chemistry lab and clean water resources is valued at P22,500. On the same lines BU went several notches higher this time by rolling out the "Online Teaching e-Pedagogy" webinar to support the many teaching members of the community to tackle the various challenges of training students in schools, colleges and universities through online mode. The training cost, in reality, is approximately close to P2 Million and was well received by the teachers. We take this opportunity to thank all the participants and hereby share some of their feedback for everyone's appreciation.
As mentioned in the earlier section on awareness messages by BU's own team, we would also like to mention about Botho University's regular sharing of relevant news on the COVID 19 awareness on the widely popular BU platforms (with over 90,000 members) to sensitize the community and the efforts of Government and International organizations.
BU Supported Organic Material Skin Care, a company run by one of its Alumni to use its Chemistry Lab in producing Hand Sanitizers and thus empowering her Business to stay afloat as well as assisting in the prevention of COVID-19.
On the 28th April 2020, BU will make history by launching its first FREE Online training programme to all Teachers/ Tutors in Botswana who are currently teaching at various levels including Tertiary Institutions, Secondary and Primary school students via online mode. All these efforts are made as part of the University’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives to help tackle the Covid-19 Global Pandemic and support the various Government Initiatives in Botswana and wherever Botho University has campuses in Africa.
Botho University learners in Botswana have access to the learning management system Blackboard on the Orange network for low rates. The same has been conveyed to all Botho University students through the Students and Alumni Affairs Department.
The University has come up with 11 exclusive WhatsApp helpline numbers (9 Gaborone, 1 Francistown & 1 Distance Learning) for all enquiries especially for prospective students where they can :
- Apply for Admissions
- Upload temporary transcripts and Counselling
- Receive offer letters via WhatsApp making their admission process smooth and easy during this lock down access.
Botho University has provided access to quality online learning to all campus learning students across all the campuses via our Blackboard learning management system, helping them to stay connected with their studies. Blackboard is a teaching platform that has been used widely around the world including top ivy league universities making it a user friendly platform especially during this time. BU has been using Blackboard for many years for both its Campus Learning and Distance Learning requirements.
BU in partnership with cellular provider Mascom publicized the much appreciated “Zero rated access” for students. Through this, Mascom allows students to have free, zero rated access to all learning materials via Botho University’s state-of-the-art and internationally renowned learning management system called the Blackboard.
Our creative team, launched a series of BU Public awareness messages on COVID 19. These messages were developed and delivered across various mediums including the Media, BU’s Newsletter, Social Networks & Website for our stakeholders. This continuous act also includes content shared from local Government and International Health organizations like the WHO to ensure our audience receives the right message to fight this world pandemic.