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Government intensifies drive to boost SMMEs

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Government intensifies drive to boost SMMEs
INVESTMENT, TRADE & INDUSTRY MINISTER: Bogolo Kenewendo

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister, Bogolo Kenewendo says the government has begun intensifying the drive to boost the contribution of Small-to-Macro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) to the economy.

Delivering a motivational speech at the graduation of aspiring entrepreneurs in Palapye late last week, Kenewendo said the transition of SMMEs to big business or corporate is pivotal in any economy in the world.

Close to 100 youths, drawn from the Palapye constituency, attended a week-long workshop with the aim of equipping them with the necessary attributes of a well-rounded entrepreneur such as bookkeeping, marketing and business enthusiasm.

According to Kenewendo, it is actually the relative measure of how well an economy is performing as SMMEs are the seedbed of business growth, innovation and pillars of employment creation.

It is against this backdrop that the government through the youngest legislator’s ministry is redirecting its efforts in fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the young brigade of this nation.

“The government is intensifying the funding model with a view of encouraging many to venture into business,” said Kenewendo.

Currently, the government has devised Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) where the administration is encouraging the purchasing of locally produced products before buying outside the borders of Botswana.

Kenewendo said the government is looking forward to a flourishing sector of SMMEs in a not so distant future. She encouraged the graduates to put into practice the knowledge and expertise gathered from the workshop.

For his part, Palapye MP Moiseraela Goya said the government has been polishing diamonds for over five decades now but the time has come for President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s administration to start nurturing focused entrepreneurs, especially SMMEs, because they contribute half of the world’s economic output and employ two-thirds of the global workforce.

“The time has come. And I am saying the time is now that the government should start to polish entrepreneurs in the firm of SMMEs,” said Goya, adding that the government should focus on ways to turn around the sector, which is emerging as a key economic driver.

There is no universally accepted definition of SMMEs but the World Bank defines SMMEs as businesses that employ less than 300 people and have an annual turnover that does not exceed P150 million.