COVID-19 Pushes business community to collaborate

CEDA CEO: Thamane

The Chief Executive Officer of the Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) Thabo Thamane says collaboration is key for the business community to emerge successful post-COVID-19.

Addressing youth entrepreneurs at the just ended Diamond Impact Week, a collaboration between De Beers Group and the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Thamane said this will ensure benchmarking and sharing of ideas on how best to respond to the global pandemic and still realize business growth and sustainability.

He further highlighted that youth businesses should be at the centre of Botswana’s COVID- 19 recovery plans and encouraged them to leverage business opportunities presented by the pandemic.

“The future of the country is in your hands. You must be innovative, strategic, and unapologetic about finding long-lasting solutions that can ensure Botswana’s long-term recovery from COVID-19 and propel the country to greater heights” he said.

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Thamane encouraged youth businesses to always strive for excellence, indicating that SMMEs play a significant role in the economy, particularly through employment.

He said the SMME sector contributes 35 percent to Botswana’s GDP and urged the youth to think globally in everything they do in order to benefit from this.

He highlighted the need for exploring international markets and use all interventions available such as the Botswana Investment Trade Centre and CEDA funding for businesses that target foreign markets.

For his part, Moatlhodi Sebabole, FNBB Chief Economist indicated that many companies lost profitability as a result of COVID 19 and encouraged the youth entrepreneurs to consider diversification of their businesses, but cautioned the need to have targets in order to monitor successes accordingly.

Pat Dambe, Vice President Corporate Affairs and Government Relations at De Beers Group, reiterated the value of partnerships and invited cross-market companies to consider partnering with Botswana companies and harness the virtual space for more benefits.

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Nineteen- thousand youth entrepreneurs participated in the webinar.

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