Citizen company Ezymox Holdings, has engaged the Jwaneng Mine Workers Union to raise over P15 million capital through crowd funding.
Ezymox Holdings director, Mathews Wilson told BG Business that they want to mobilise monetary contributions to venture into various businesses. He stated that they are going to build supermarkets with the capital where shareholders will get a dividend when the business starts making profit. “Mine Workers Union in Jwaneng is coming on board to work together with us to mobilise resources and actually buy shares from Ezymox Holdings and run retail businesses as well as businesses in the mining and hospitality sectors,” said Wilson.
He said their target is to raise over P15 million for business ventures. “Initially we wanted to raise about P15 million for the five supermarkets and five liquor outlets but now with the addition of a mine the figure is going to increase because we need to buy the machinery and everything else,” he said.
The company was formed last year and according to Wilson we ‘have done our due diligence with the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA)’’. He stated that as soon as the capital has been raised then the company will be converted from a private company to a public entity. “We want to empower Batswana for them to be players in the economy of the country,” said Wilson. He said the concept of crowd funding is being practised in the United States of America, United Kingdom and many other countries. “The Kenyans in Africa are doing it and in Colombia they have actually built something similar to the iTowers building. There is one company in Botswana which is actually into property business through crowd funding,” said the Ezymox director.Secretary General of Jwaneng Mine Workers, Alexander Heii confirmed that they are in partnership talks with Ezymox to raise money through crowd funding. He said they are looking for initiatives that serve the best interests of the workers under his union.
“It’s a good initiative that we would like to look into and I am going to further consult my union members and chart the way forward. The mining sector has been affected and workers have been hit hard by taxes and we have lost our incentives so we are looking for ways to increase our income,” said Heii. He said many mine workers lack entrepreneurial skills and ‘their mind is to wake up and go to work’ and hence the need to change that mindset. Heii added that mining business is not there forever and they are looking for alternative sources of income. In 2015, it was estimated that worldwide over US$34 billion was raised through crowd funding.