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Women entrepreneurs celebrated

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Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) held today (Wednesday) at Regent Select Hotel, is expected to celebrate the unwavering positives that women entrepreneurs bring to the global economy, as well as inspire and support future generations of women entrepreneurs. The day is intended to empower women and their businesses, as well as gather a think tank of women leaders, which will create an amplified message to expand businesses with social impact in communities locally and globally.

Hosted for the first time in Botswana, the day is historically held on November 19 each year during the Global Entrepreneurship Week. According to Regional Ambassador – WED Botswana, Gomolemo Madikgetla, the event takes the format of a roundtable discussion with presentations and a master class. Speakers and facilitators include; Magdeline Madibela: Head of UN Women, Victor Monggae: Hub Manager at Tokafala enterprise Development, Agang Tshosa: The Clicking Generation Co-Founder and Tony Elemelu Foundation alumni, Dr Roche Mambolo: Founding Director of the LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Blaga Miteva: Opportunity Creator at Brand Engage and Lily Rakorong: CEO of HATAB.

The roundtable will bring to the fore issues of enteprise development, mentorship, inclusiveness, masterclass: entrepreneurs and catalytic innovation, entrepreneurship and the forth industrial revolution, pitching and speed networking, as well as the importance of scale and leadership, among others.WEB Botswana also promises to provide a platform in which prominent figures, leaders and experts will not only share success stories on a surface level, but also delve deeper into the implementation process of the work of women in business and for sustainability integration.

WED ignites women leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to initiate startups, drive economic expansion, and advance communities worldwide.The flagship UN event is live-streamed and celebrated in 144 countries and 110 universities and colleges celebrating Women’s Entrepreneurship Day internationally reaching over 1.4 million people. The WED mission is to empower the four billion women across the globe to be catalysts of change, and uplift the 250 million girls living in poverty globally. “In addition to our mission of empowerment, we are committed to gathering a think tank of inspiring women leaders who can amplify our message of expanding businesses with social-good initiatives in communities around the world.” FAST STATS Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work Only earn 10 percent of the world’s income Account for 85 percent of consumer purchases Control $20 trillion in worldwide spending

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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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