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BIH stimulates female entreprenership

The MidweekSun Admin

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Winners of the FemBioBiz – Female in Bio-technology Businesses Programme Competition will get an opportunity to compete in the SA Innovation Summit start-up competition in Cape Town for a trip to Silicon Valley where they will stand a chance to win $1 million.

The four, Bame Rammala and Kamogelo Mmereki brains behind Antimicrobial Toilet Seat, Tlotlo Phuduhudu of Healthy Delights, Tuduetso Tebape of Nubian Seed and Bonolo Monthe of Maungo Craft, were selected from 10 finalists from the 47 applications across Botswana.

FemBioBiz, a programme by the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) exist in eight SADC countries; Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Innovation and Technology Director at BIH, Dr Budzanani Tacheba said the 2018 FemBioBiz Awards recognises women entrepreneurs who have developed or initiated innovations and inventions; women entrepreneurs who are growth oriented; women entrepreneurs who have early or mature innovations and have demonstrated social impact and; women postgraduate students who have viable innovative and entrepreneurial projects or initiatives.

According to Dr Tacheba, the awards were a culmination of tailor-made acceleration programme with a series of boot-camps, workshops and coaching sessions for finalists to assist them to scale up their business ventures and increase their value as leaders and role models in the community. BIH serves as a strategic partner for the implementation of the FemBioBiz Season Two Acceleration Programme Competition. Dr Tacheba further added that in addition to being hosted by the BIH Entrepreneurship Programme, winners would have access to the Hub’s three stages of Pre-incubation, Incubation and Acceleration.

“There are opportunities to proceed to further participate at a global start-up festival called SLUSH in Helsinki, Finland in November 2018.”The FemBioBiz programme also creates a platform for women to network and access regional and international markets, obtain business development skills and access financing.

Since inception, the Programme has received over 600 applications from 10 SADC member states and trained over 200 women with businesses that address the health and nutrition challenges of the SADC region. Partners Bame Rrammala and Kamogelo Mmereki are excited about the opportunity to meet potential investors and a chance to network with other women in bio businesses.
The duo, Biological Science and Bio Technology students at BUIST are developing antimicrobial toilet seats that will prevent contamination of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites on toilet seats.

Tlotlo Phuduhudu of Health Delights is grateful for the opportunity to represent Botswana at the Cape Town regional competition.“This is a great opportunity to raise awareness about our company and what we do,” she said. Healthy Delights produce animal feeds, and other animal products.

BIH’s Brand and Communications Manager, Kemiso Ben said, “By recognising the FemBioBiz winners, BIH remains committed to supporting women entrepreneurs leading Bio technology innovations that are financially sustainable and socially responsible. FemBioBiz competition continues to contribute to the local and regional economy, by seeking out courageous female entrepreneurs who continuously innovate sustainable solutions for present and future generations.”

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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