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Kenewendo says business outlook is positive

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Specially elected Member of Parliament Bogolo Kenewendo has encouraged businesses to start 2018 with a sense of optimism, saying projections for the year and beyond look positive, and likely to entail more opportunities to grow business. “Many observers expect stronger growth in 2018 International Monetary Fund is estimating 2017 global output at 3.7 percent and forecast for 2018 has been revised to 3.9 percent,” she told last week’s ever Barclays Bank Economic Outlook forum 2018. She said Sub Saharan Africa is expected to grow at 3.3 percent this year.

Kenewendo reiterated that businesses could grow if people remain optimistic. “If the projected GDP growth of 5.3 percent materialises in 2018, that would entail more opportunities to grow our business,” she said. The 2018/19-budget speech, she said, has underlying assumptions of optimistic budget surplus expected beyond 2019. “This is an environment we should prepare for and take full advantage by pursuing the opportunities that will arise,” she said. Kenewendo also recognised that Fintech is reshaping banking through the digital revolution, which she said appears to be and is also transforming the way customers access financial products and services. Chairman of Barclays Bank of Botswana, Andrew Motshidisi admitted that indeed, the Fintech revolution is upon them and he revealed that it is finally interesting, how the financial services sector is responding towards this. He added that the local economy is heavily dependent on the performance in the global economy as it provides a market for the exports.

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ADB grants BDC P4m for capacity building

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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BDC head of human capital, Thabile Moipolai

African Development Bank has granted Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) over P4 million for training and capacity building of its staff members, the latter’s Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe has disclosed.

The grant, which is $400,000 could not have come at a better time for BDC which has just begun a foray into the African continent. According to the Head of Human Capital at the investment arm of government, Thabile Moipolai, the grant will be used in areas such as investment, legal and risk, the three divisions which are considered critical as they continue to push the five -year strategy.

BDC has been given the leeway to invest outside Botswana and already some investments are being made in West Africa. Capacitating the staff in the above areas will come in handy for the African expansion.

Moipolai was answering a question from The Midweek Sun on Friday during the company’s annual stakeholder briefing where operational and financial reports for 2017/2018 were made public. The grant will be utilised in the next two years. BDC has reiterated its plan to continue to invest initiatives which are aimed at developing and retaining staff members.

“As we continue to build a strong BDC for the future, continuous learning and development is critical for our business success and therefore remains a priority area for Human Capital,” BDC 2017 annual report reads.

BDC has also developed a future focused competency based training that will be used to make informed learning and development decisions. “The (BDC) academy will also help BDC produce future leaders that are fluid and progressive through a bespoke leadership development,” reads the report.

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KBL announces return of Kickstart program

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Previous kickstart beneficiaries

Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, a unit of Sechaba has announced the return of Kickstart, a youth entrepreneurial development program that was suspended three years due to lack of financial resources, Managing Director, Renaud Beauchamp has told the media.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. According to Beauchamp, the revamped Kickstart will start next year, with an annual budget of about P1, 5 million. “We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that, they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent. The clear beer price reduction comes after the Alcohol Levy, which made beer expensive, was slashed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime some few months ago.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment has announced changes in trading hours for businesses that trade with liquor.

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