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Cupcakeville, your cupcake home

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Gorata Chimoli’s confectionary business, Cupcakeville, started as a hobby, when she would bake cupcakes at home and then share them with neighbours. One day she was home alone and baked 12 cupcakes and only ate four of them. “I put the rest in a container and took them to give my neighbours because I was afraid my mother was going to scold me because I had had a tooth surgery at the time”.

When the neighbours saw her coming with a big container, they then offered to buy at P2 each and they took all of them. She then went to buy another cake mix and baked again in the absence of her mother. With the money she made, she continued baking and selling to raise pocket money for herself.

She then followed baking tips on the Internet and started experimenting with various recipes and then learnt how to bake cakes. Chimoli, who is a University of Botswana (UB) graduate, then negotiated to supply the UB Coffee shop with 48 cupcakes per day and one cake. She continued marketing her products through social media and began to have orders from individuals.

Her prices vary according to individual preferences but the custom orders are standard at P7 cupcake with regular frosting and P150 for 20cm cake. Today, Chimoli is a successful entrepreneur in bakery and the Managing Director of Cupcakeville, which she registered in 2015. The business is currently operating from home in Phase 4. On average she can make around P12 000 per week depending on the orders.

She said she gets a lot of orders towards the end of the year as many people will be hosting parties and weddings. To expand her business, Chimolli wants to go to a proper culinary school to improve her baking skills. She recently went for a baking course in Pretoria for one week. She said the market competition is tough-so with more skills she can penetrate the market. “I tried to apply for the Youth Development Fund but they did not help me as they said they did not understand my business concept. So I am using my resources to build my skills to grow the business,” she said.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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