Shaping sustainable future through dialogue

Baitshepi Sekgweng
ORANGE BOTSWANA DIRECTOR LEGAL AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS: Lepata Mafa-Nthomola, DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Beauty Manake, DPS MINISTRY OF ENTREPRENUERSHIP: Hellen Chilisa

*Turning Point Hospitality brings informal sector under one roof

* Minister Manake urges enterprenuers to adopt growth mindset

Entrepreneurs in the informal sector have been urged to embrace growth mindset and upscale their businesses for sutainabilty and impact in the local economy.

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Speaking at the dialogue for informal sector in Gaborone on Wednesday, various speakers lauded the sector for playing a critical role by providing a lifeline for many but also called on entrepreneurs to dream big and grow their business.

Organised by Turning Point Hospitality, a small business in the waste management and hospitality industry, the dialogue aimed to celebrate the contribution of informal sector and to share knowledge on strategies for intergration and growth.

Shaping sustainable future through dialogue
ADOPT GROWTH: Informal sector

Some of the important tocpics that were discusses include opportunities in bulk buying of stock,financial Inclusion and management, maximising business with telecommunications services, digital literacy and wallets, entrepreneurship skills development and innovation as well as opportunities for the informal sector presented by the 2024/25 financial budget and access to finance through Chema Chema Fund and CEDA.

Delivering a keynote address, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry Beauty Manake said the government has since proposed a budget increase for the Chema Chema fund from P200 million to P500 million for the informal sector.

“As you continue to operate your businesses, I urge you to collaborate and form cooperatives because organizations like CEDA can give up to P50million in funding to cooperatives. Even in developed countries, they are where they are because of cooperatives not only sole proprietors. We want your businesses to have a positive impact in the economy and change lives, “Said Manake.

Preliminary data by Statistics Botswana showcases that informal sector contributed 3.2 percent to economic growth in 2023 while it employs close to 191 000 people .

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Shaping sustainable future through dialogue
ADOPT GROWTH: Informal sector

“Initiatives to improve and fund businesses are there, what we just need is the intelligence to use for the success of these enterprises. Women are contributing significantly to the economy but the aim is to alleviate poverty by scaling up ,raising standards and adopting growth mindset,” said deputy permanent secretary at the ministry of entrepreneurship Helen Chilisa, emphasising that government is trying by all means to meet entrepreneurs half way through things such as imports ban on fruits and vegetables, and bottled water

While collaborations, investing in women and inspiring inclusion and promotion of visibility of women owned businesses took centre stage, Orange Botswana Director Legal and Corporate Affairs Lepata Mafa-Nthomola assured informal traders of their support.

“We are all the way with you because we want to empower people. We have digital centres to push financial and digital literacy and all these are free. A service like Orange Money also allows traders to save their money and even to borrow loans through Nstakolle if they are pressed for funds,” she said.

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