Many people may know Botswana as a state or province that is part of South Africa, for many years now there have been misconceptions towards this particular landlocked southern African country, that has a population of over 2.5million people. Botswana is popularly known for its largest diamond mine by the name Jwaneng Mine which is the largest contributor to Botswana’s GDP, We are also known to export beef, coal and aluminum to various countries. Botswana has been growing in the area of entrepreneurship and business for the past 3years, considering the fact that approximately 80% of private owned companies, both local and foreign companies largely depend on government huge business than it would from the public, from abusiness point of view the largest revenue a private company would make comes from providing services or products to the government sector.
This however motivated me to join the startups movement and build my own start-up business and there came the birth of Bitbrands, BitBrands is a digital marketing company that provides a wide range of cost effective marketing solutions to companies in our country and Africa at large, from video marketing to social media content management. but just like any other startup i have faced and continue to face numerous challenges when it comes to issues of funding, getting clients, competing with already established agencies and local support. Just like any other entrepreneur a challenge to me became a mere opportunity to find other means and ways to make ends meet of which id like to share with you all my journey on how Bitcoin has helped me and how i feel it can help startups who are not necessarily in the tech-entrepreneur space looking at opportunities that are presented by different sectors in Botswana and also a bit about them in Africa.
I first heard of about Bitcoin from a friend of mine called Kris Farouk who introduced me to Alakanani Itireleng(the bitcoin lady) who took me under her wing as a mentor and taught me everything Bitcoin, from what it is to what opportunities this digital currency poses. Oh! Before I continue I take it we all know what Bitcoin is, or at least have heard a bit about it! Well Bitcoin is simply a digital currency held electronically that allows one to transact fast and efficiently at close to zero(0) cost, what fascinates me about Bitcoin is that to me it’s a global connector, a service enabler and most importantly a platform that allows us to change situations, alleviate poverty and most importantly bring balance to economies by giving power to the people. Bitcoin is a potential global monetary messiah that has come to free people from the chain of status quos that are set and regulated by the selected few with its potential communities can be improved and regulations be set to favor all equally. Now when I started out this marketing company I had no website, no funds to buy a domain or even host my website, with the help of Alakanani she funded my business and I was able to buy domain and print business cards I then met Daniel Modell who later introduced me to a great community of people from the ChangeTip organization and was added to a group called tipping for good of which from the competitions and tipping I got from then I managed to raise enough cash to host my website and purchase a few more equipment needed to start my business.
Bitcoin as a platform allows small businesses in Africa the chance to grow and establish themselves especially as the startups are exposed to a wide international market which in my opinion this helps African young entrepreneurs establish themselves not only in Africa but the rest of the world. Bitcoin can help drive sustainable development in Botswana, from the agricultural sector to manufacturing and banking!
Thokozile Trevor Twala is a writer, bitcoin enthusiast and a small business person in Botswana