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Women talk business over a cup to tea

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Women in business have been advised to maintain a firm and strong ground in operating and running their business enterprises. This is a necessary trait for an entrepreneur especially for women who amongst others face challenges that include; intense competition from male counter parts, and cultural norms that tend to constrain full female entrepreneual participation. This was a discussion sparked at the WIBA annual high tea held this past weekend where female stewards gathered to explore the theme; ‘Be empowered and being a rare gem.’ This year’s installment was designed to teach aspiring entrepreneurs about the fundamental skills, attitudes, and discipline it takes to be an entrepreneur, through inspirational stories from accomplished entrepreneurs.

The guest speaker, Batsho Dambe-Groth told those in attendance that endurance goes a long way in achieving goals and reaching targets for any entrepreneur. She added that endurance does not mean that you have to burn yourself out, but rather means setting priorities, making a plan on how you are going to achieve those priorities and sticking to it. “Endure to achieve goals. If you are building your own business, you will have to keep setting and trying to meet higher and higher goals. Be prepared for that and for taking advantage of the occasional ‘plateau’ to draw breath and take stock,” she adds. Founder of Business Kraal, Neo Tlhaselo topped that up to say in enduring the process of becoming a sought after business person, one needs to learn to ignore the negatives at all costs.

“In becoming you, you will have people who will continuously feed you with negative talk, you will go to places full of negativity and negative personal relationships, but it is crucial that one ignores the negative voices,” she emphasised. Ntombi Setshwaelo who has grown to be a success in her own right said with a world full of dualities, it is important to choose wisely. “Work on the woman within, build her up, do right by her in every aspect of the way. If its relationships, job, or business deals, choose those that will enhance a better you,” she says. Thabo Mhlanga, a mentor, coach and personal development strategist amongst others, highlighted that any successful woman is a woman who has first learnt to build the woman within. “A broken woman cannot make it in business, the business world needs a strong, firm and bold beings that do not crack so easily.

Mhlanga also encouraged business women to look at being different as a bonus rather than a demerit. “Choose to stand out rather than fit in, that which stands out is noticeable and most likely to set trends and influence the business market as a whole,” he highlights. WIBA high tea aims to provide value for women’s involvement and excitement, something to look forward to on an annual social calendar. As an association, WIBA had the sole mandate of spearheading the concerns of women in business. To achieve this, WIBA continues to encourage members to interact and to engage in effective forms of networking which brought about various economic initiatives.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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