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Tokafala business advisory workshop to boost SMMEs

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A business advisory workshop dubbed ‘Tokafala Programme’ returns again next month to impart small businesses with training and mentorship on business management.

Programme Director Ineke Van Der Weijden promised that participants will benefit a lot from topics that include financial record keeping; financial management; evaluation of investment decision; basic operation concept and marketing & sales.

“Successfully applying these principles will typically lead to improved performance of the business,” she said. As if to prove this, she revealed that graduate from the Tokafala programme class of 2014, managed to record overall revenue of 60 percent after one year. The workshops are free for all businesses and participants are expected to work hard. The advisory workshop cycles will last for four months and consist of a combination of group based workshops and tailored one-on-one sessions.

Tokafala programme is a joint partnership between Botswana Government, Anglo American, De Beers and Debswana that aims to promote economic development by bolstering the growth of micro small and medium sized companies in Botswana.

The programme was launched in January 2014 and is expected to run for at least three years with a second phase planned to run until 2018. The ultimate goal of the programme is to diversify the economy away from mining by developing a strong middle class of entrepreneurs who will finally become employers.

The programme exists in Francistown and Gaborone and that is where the business workshops will take place.

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UN, De Beers launch programme for Women

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The most recent opportunity for women entrepreneurs is the United Nations (UN) and De Beers project – a three-year capacity-building programme to improve the livelihoods of more than 1,200 women micro-entrepreneurs in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Launched last month, the project is tailored specifically for each country, and is expected to be delivered with local implementation partners and focus on regions that have high levels of unemployment and where formal job opportunities are limited.

“Through these programmes, we hope to equip women entrepreneurs with the skills, training and confidence to build successful and sustainable businesses,” said Bruce Cleaver, Chief Executive Officer, De Beers Group. Cleaver believes the project will help prop up communities’ economic activities, as women are proven to reinvest more of their income back into the community and to actively support the creation of jobs for others.

According to De Beers Group the beneficiaries will be equipped with management skills to build confidence and capacity to operate and grow successful small businesses. Anne Shongwe, UN Women Representative, South Africa Multi-Country Office said the programme aims to complement national efforts on job creation and economic empowerment of women.

“Investing in women’s economic empowerment, particularly with women in the informal sector, sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth,” said Shongwe.

She further said investing in the capacity development of women micro-entrepreneurs leads to women having higher incomes, better access to and control over resources.

The programme is part of De Beers Group’s three-year partnership with UN Women, which includes a US$3 million investment to advance women and girls in De Beers Group’s diamond producing countries, announced in September last year. Over the past years women pioneers who have passionately grown local businesses include, Theresa Mokoka, renowned female farmer in Kweneng, Nkata Seleka, founder and owner of Sleek Foods, among others.

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Seed Co lists on the BSEL bourse

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Seed Co, the Africa-focused seed company has listed its shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) effective 5th October 2018. The shares for the Zimbabwean based company started trading on the same day.

“This is a primary listing by way of introduction of the issued share capital of Seed Co, comprising of 379,331,127 of ordinary shares on the main Board of the BSEL,” reads BSEL media statement. Seed Co is a leading certified seed company authorized to market seed varieties developed by itself, government and other associated seed breeders in over fifteen (15) African countries. The company is involved in the breeding, multiplication and distribution of mainly hybrid seed varieties.

In commenting on this milestone by Seed Co, the Chief Executive Officer of BSEL Thapelo Tsheole highlighted that, “this reinforces the value of listing companies on the exchange as this listing reiterates that for companies that wish to raise capital or increase visibility in the market, the stock exchange is the right avenue”. He further said BSEL is happy to welcome a company of Seed Co’s stature to the market.

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