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LEA urges procurers to source from local SMMEs

Staff Writer
The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has called on procurers to source their goods from local Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME) as they are guaranteed quality.

Neo Mahube, LEA corporate stakeholder and communications manager, made these remarks at a LEA seminar, last week.

She said LEA would act as an intermediary to supply and ensure the satisfaction of both the procurer as well as the SMMEs.

"Procurement professionals through LEA are able to specify the type of products and services they are looking for, which is then capacitated by LEA and eventually SMMEs will deliver the required product," she said.

Mahube said that procurers shouldn't overlook local products as LEA was there to advice SMMEs on improving their products and services. She said that with SMMEs, customers are able to receive or purchase customised products and services which is an advantage they cannot easily get with imported goods.

Mahube reiterated that LEA is able to provide procurers with sample products from different companies in-order for them to choose the one which best suits them.

"SMMEs normally have a problem of having a limited supply of products but with the aid of LEA, customers can be provided with other SMMEs producing these products," she said.

The seminar themed 'Partnership in Implementing the Local Procurement Policy' was hailed by participants, comprised mostly the public and procurement professionals, as an eye opener.

LEA chief executive officer, Dr. Tebogo Matome said most people in Botswana are confused as to what exactly LEA does.

He said most people confuse LEA for Citizen Entrepreneurial

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Development Agency (CEDA) whilst LEA's main purpose is to promote and facilitate entrepreneurship SMME development in pursuit of diversifying the economy.

Matome said however LEA cannot identify every company as an enterprise.

"We have certain requirements to have people qualify under us as entrepreneurs but the truth is most people who show up don't meet the minimum requirements," he said. Certain standards have to be followed. Micro-enterprises are required to have at least a turnover of P60, 000 annually and a minimum of six employees.

A small business needs to have an annual turnover of P1.5 million and at least 25 employees whilst medium enterprises have to have an annual turnover of P5million and at least 100 employees.

Matome went on to say they require people who are capable of producing quality goods and services, people who take risks, are efficient and can set goals of what they want to achieve, and are also independent and self-confident among others. He said that LEA equips SMMEs with various services in-order to empower them.

"LEA hosts technology and innovation workshops to equip SMMEs with knowledge on the latest technology and how it can improve their production from time to time. We also provide mentoring to our clients on a personal basis by showing them in a practical way how best to produce their products," he said. 



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