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Mathubudukwane hosts Dinokeng Business Expo

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The annual Dinokeng Business Expo this year will take place over two days from June 29 to 30 owing to the fact that one day could not accommodate all planned expo activities.

According to the Expo Coordinator, Karabo Sename, the expo will take place at Cosmos Grounds in Mathubudukwane in the Kgatleng District, under the theme, ‘Advancing Entrepreneurship: Tapping into the basics of theory and practice across the Globe.’
The expo that has been running for three years has now been divided into two days.

On the first, there will be an official opening and judging of stalls, as well as business talks. On the second, all participants will be awarded with certificates of participation and will have an opportunity to interact with their customers and trade. “We will also award three Best Decorated Stalls,” Sename said.

Dinokeng Business Expo involves five Kgatleng district villages; Mabalane, Sikwane, Mathubudukwane, Ramonaka and Malolwane.
The objective is to strengthen capacities of communities in Kgatleng District on enterprise formulation and management; to raise awareness on entrepreneurship opportunities in the district, country as well as regionally; to offer a networking platform for entrepreneurs and clients. The guest of honour will have time to speak and share experiences as well as encourage business people to venture into businesses that will produce solutions to current challenges.

In the first year, expo organisers invited a local influential professional, Papanki Phiri, in the second year they invited the Botswana Stock Exchange CEO, Thapelo Tsheole, and last year they had the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre Acting CEO, Meshack Tshekedi as guest of honour.

“This year, we have decided to invite a well renowned and respected businesswoman who we are still awaiting confirmation from,” Sename said.
One of the successes of the expo is that many that are involved with the organising have been exhibitors themselves in the past. According to Sename, this demonstrates growth of not only the expo but also the participants.

Among young entrepreneurs who have grown over the years partly because of the expo include; Powane Kopo who is into irrigation farming and also part of the expo organising committee, Samatha Peters, a local fashion designer and Sename himself, who now runs a ginger manufacturing and bottling operation in Mathubudukwane.

In addition, more young people in the area are rising to the reality that they need to start and run their own businesses and create employment rather than wait to be employed.

“We have realised that one of the strengthens of this area is in the agriculture sector, and many young people are showing interest,” Sename said, adding that there are already several that are running agricultural projects, especially that they have a reliable water supply from the Madikwe river.
Sename however, decries the fact that currently, they cannot fully implement their plans as a result of lack of funds. He however, acknowledges that sponsors including the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development that have been offering support.

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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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