Mabalane scooped two awards from Botswana National Youth Awards 2023, the Best Youth Owned Business and best Female Youth of the Year. The youth Awards served to celebrate excellence and recognize champions as lead game changers.

This year’s awards were held under the theme, ‘A season of Game Changers’. Speaking to the Business trends, she said obtaining a license to operate the business was very difficult. “I had to face authorities with courage and determination because they thought I was not competent enough to operate a school as an accountant.”

She said the challenges the business have gone through with licensing and Covid-19 pandemic has molded her into a fierce and shrewd business woman and her mind has been opened to reason better. “In the past, I was just like any other youth, believing and waiting for the government to employ me, I had no dreams beyond that but the business has opened my eyes to see that we are more than able and that opportunities do exist for youths to take advantage and turnaround their lives.” Mabalane acknowledges that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) represents an important milestone in achieving an economically integrated Africa hence governments should invest in basic education and skills development, and strive for education reform that will facilitate the unimpeded participation of young people in the socioeconomic development of their countries. “The government alone cannot achieve that, it needs partnership with local entrepreneurs like us, who are into the education business space.”

She further alluded that in order for women and youth-led businesses to thrive and participate effectively in intra-African trade, it is essential to increase financial inclusion, access to finance and strengthen financial literacy initiatives. “Gender mainstreaming is still a major challenge in Botswana, particularly in the financial sector; the policies do not adequately cater for women's challenges in accessing finance of business development support.” The 35-year old Mabalane is a certified trainer in the areas of business and financial literacy, and promised if she wins the youth business award, she intends to hold workshops on business and financial literacy for women in their localities. “I would further use my abilities to advocate for women sensitive product planning within the finance sector.”

She is confident that her preschool business is highly sustainable and with the right marketing and business skills it will continue, so that it is not affected by new entrants to the market nor the giants in the industry. “The business has the potential of growing internationally as evidenced by our partnerships and attendance to international workshops and forums such as the one in Zimbabwe and South Africa recently.” Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare called for the private sector to take part and assist government as a key stakeholder in human development. “Young people have dreams to make change and their innovations need their technical and financial support.”