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Entrepreneurs are spark plugs of the economy

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A delegation of four young entrepreneurs arrived last Friday from India after completing a two-month entrepreneurship course courtesy of ‘Shoshong, Your Investment Destination.’ Entrepreneurs occupy a central position in a market economy.

For it’s the entrepreneurs who serve as the spark plug in the economy’s engine, activating and stimulating all economic activity. The economic success of nations worldwide is the result of encouraging and rewarding the entrepreneurial instinct that’s why  the organisation, ‘Shoshong, Your investment  Destination’ sent the four young people to India to learn more  on how to  develop businesses as well as learn about the Indians’ entrepreneurial culture. 

On December 1 2015 three ladies were sent to India and graduated in Women and Enterprise Development course which ran for two months. Another group of delegates  was also sent to India and graduated in a Trainers Trainee on Entrepreneurship and Promotion of Income Activities.

One of the participants, Lentle Tshiriletso told Business Trends that she has learnt a lot in India especially on how women manage to sustain their lives through their talents and skills. “They are not just basing on the government like us Batswana but rather they create jobs for themselves,” she said. It is very clear that in Botswana most women are so exposed to poverty though they have skills and talents that they use to sustain themselves.

Tshireletso observed that in India women take entrepreneurship more seriously and businesses are found everywhere even in small villages. “People with businesses do form groups and work together, cooperating, something that helps them to succeed.” Kelebile Gasenna said they observed that the use of technology is another factor for success in enterprises.

“In India the entrepreneurs use social media to market themselves and they have online shopping which makes it easier for them. Having access to Internet makes it easier for them to interact with customers all the time,” she said.

On future plans they said they will implement what they have learnt in India here at home by training people and encouraging Batswana to use their skills.  For his part, Nicholas Mokongwa, one of the organisers of the trip said they intend to send more locals to India to gain business skills, which they can use to transform their communities. India is known for its robust SMMEs sector.

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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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