Entrepreneurship ministry team up with ABSA

Baitshepi Sekgweng
SHAKE ON IT: Chilisa and Nthoyi at the signing ceremony

In one of its biggest milestones since being passed into existence exactly a year ago, the Ministry of Entrepreneurship have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ABSA Bank Botswana

Through the partnership, the pair will seek to support the sector’s growth and development by identifying and delivering appropriate skills training for entrepreneurs in the country.

They will also run an entrepreneurship awareness campaign through workshops and seminars.

Part of the deal sees the two organisations working together to facilitate the transfer of business and technology skills to SMMEs, develop best practices in entrepreneurship compliance issues and SMME business management.

Speaking at last week’s signing ceremony, ABSA Bank Botswana Head of Markets, James Nthoyi said the MOU reaffirms their commitment to supporting entrepreneurship in Botswana.

“We believe this partnership will enable us to achieve even greater impact in the years to come. From our point of view, entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic growth and job creation. That is why we have made it our mission to support and empower entrepreneurs locally,” he stated.

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Over the years, ABSA have come up with several initiatives to support local entrepreneurship.

One of the most notable includes their Enterprise and Supply Chain Development programme, which has forked out P800 million in funding to local SMEs since its launch in 2018.

In partnership with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA), ABSA have also provided training and mentorship to almost 4, 000 entrepreneurs.

Highlighting the importance of the MoU and the change it could potentially create in the country, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Entrepreneurship, Helen Chilisa, said, “With high unemployment rates there is a need to grow public and private sectors to groom the youth, unemployed and underemployed to be employers and entrepreneurs for the future. The priority is to break barriers and equip and enable Botswana’s future entrepreneurs!”

Established 12 months ago, Ministry of Entrepreneurship seeks to drive economic diversity and growth with focus areas on enterprise development and coordination, small business development, intergraded support to small and micro enterprises and coordination of value chains.

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