A hub of activity

Baitshepi Sekgweng
PROUD: Segametsi Siviya

SMMEs thrive at the Consumer Fair

The 16th edition of the Botswana Consumer Fair has come and gone in a week-long blur of networking, exhibiting and excitement as the crowds flocked to Fairgrounds Holdings in huge numbers.

The steady stream of traffic gave Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) a unique opportunity to sell themselves to the people.

And sell themselves they did, as Voice Money’s BAITSHEPI SEKGWENG found out when he visited the Traders Hub…

Segametsi Siviya – Fush Fush Baobab

Established last year, the business made its debut at the fair, showcasing its premier products of: Mowana juice and powder, yoghurt, coffee and jam. The Pandamatenga-based enterprise predominantly supplies the Chobe area, as well as a few retailers in Francistown and Gaborone.

“Taking part in the fair has been extremely beneficial to us; we have been able to make sales as well as advertise our products for Batswana to appreciate and even for those outside Botswana.

Apart from that, I have been able to network and learn things to do with branding from other traders and most importantly marketing. The testimonies and feedback we got from customers was also very useful. Mowana is not just a fruit but has medicinal purposes.”

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PASSIONATE ABOUT RABBITS: Timbu Ntjenje

Timbu Ntjenje – Timbu Farming and Rabbit Enterprises

The farming enterprise originally hopped into action back in 2018 in Matshelagabedi under the then Nyeletso Lehuma programme (recently renamed Wealth Creation). Having started with 11 rabbits (10 females and one bull), the enterprise is slowly picking up pace, and currently boasts 80 rabbits. The main focus is on breeding and selling meat.

“When I started I was just given tswana breeds but I had to improve these breeds in order to get the quality I wanted, so I bought other breeds from South Africa. The sales have been good in the Consumer Fair as compared to the normal day-to-day sales where my operations are based. I brought in 20 rabbits but I’m just left with four so I learnt that selling is not about waiting for people to come to you but about being pro-active and going after buyers. For now we sell amongst ourselves as breeders and to those individuals who want meat; we are not yet at a stage where we can approach supermarkets, lodges and hotels because we don’t have the numbers yet.”

A hub of activity
PASSIONATE ABOUT RABBITS: Timbu Ntjenje

Nametso Goilatshwene – Geo Stones

Based in Gaborone, with branches in Molepolole and Francistown, Geo Stones has been operating since 2016 and specialize in manufacturing tombstones from granite.

“We have been interacting with potential clients who we are hoping to turn into long term clients. It has been beautiful to meet people who already know our brand; that’s what our focus was on, on taking our brand to the people – it wasn’t necessarily about sales. The intention is to establish and maintain new relationships. With the nature of our business we are very positive that we will strike gold since we managed to display our products.”

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BOAGO SERUMOLA – BOASA BRANDS

Boago Serumola – Boasa Brands

The Gaborone-based enterprise supplies both fresh produce and processed foods, with their mixed dried fruits, banana chips and mango strips proving especially popular. A food technologist by profession, Serumola is also a farmer, which helps complements the process. With an automated factory, the company is able to make 500 packets of various dried fruits per day.

“The reception is good and people are loving the products because of the convenience. Also it’s a healthy snack so it’s suitable for anyone because we don’t add any sugar or preservatives. It’s our first time exhibiting here but the biggest benefit has been brand awareness. We have attracted a lot of potential clients, collaborations and networking. Sales have been marvellous and we are happy.”

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PHATSHIMO MATSHEDISO – PHATSIMA ORGANIC

Phatsimo Matshediso – Phatsima Organic

Focusing on health and beauty, Phatsima Organic use moretologa and moringa to great effect, producing: body creams, hand lotions, soaps, a variety of teas and even hair food. While Matshediso currently sources the moringa from South Africa, she has empowered locals to harvest the moretologa fruit for her production process.

“We believe we are expanding and going to improve beyond the current phase and anticipate more growth at the production site. Networking is very important, checking on who can help you with the available resources. Visibility of the brand is key too: we want to be known as a new company and what we offer and network with people who have been in this business before. The sales have been slow but otherwise people are able to appreciate what we have and I can’t complain at all.”

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