Mmegi Online :: Cooperatives urged to change business models
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Last Updated
Tuesday 20 November 2018, 13:46 pm.
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Cooperatives urged to change business models

Cooperative societies looking to leverage on the changing business environment should consider adapting their business models to fit the diversity of the market, an assistant minister has said.
By Staff Writer Thu 08 Jun 2017, 15:50 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Cooperatives urged to change business models








Assistant minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Biggie Butale said the changes in the business environment in terms of technological advancement, trade liberalisation and globalisation mean that cooperative businesses can no longer be run as socially-oriented businesses detached from modern business practices.

He, therefore, said cooperatives need to change their business approach to embrace modern business practices.

“Uphold the entrepreneurship culture and be run by people with a business mindset,” he said.

Butale was speaking at the opening of Thuto Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (Thuto SACCOS) marketing dinner and brand launch that was held in Gaborone recently.

According to the assistant minister, the branding of Thuto SACCOS was in line with one of the pillars of the transformation strategy for cooperative development, which emphasises the importance of branding.

He said the pillar focuses on developing a positive public image about cooperatives and ensuring that they are run and viewed as autonomous, vibrant, competitive and profitable business enterprises.

Butale also commended Thuto SACCOS, saying it has taken some steps in the implementation of the transformation strategy, which was developed by his ministry in an effort to resuscitate, revamp and re-direct the development of cooperatives into globally competitive businesses.

“Thuto SACCOS has today invited strategic partners to plead for your support in this collaborative approach in building

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‘new generation cooperatives’, which can withstand the local, regional and international market challenges,” Butale said.

He added that some of the challenges faced by cooperatives, which led to the dwindling image of the cooperative movement in Botswana include, amongst others, mismanagement and fraud, attraction and retention of skilled employees, as well as inadequate member commitment.

He indicated that this is a challenge cooperatives are facing countrywide and that it has manifested itself in poor attendance of cooperative meetings by members and inadequate patronage.

Butale said whilst inadequate member-commitment may be interpreted as meaning that the economic significance of cooperatives has declined or is declining, cooperatives remain important, particularly to the majority of Batswana who have no alternative ways and means of individually setting up income-generating activities through which they can improve their standards of living.He said most of the once successful cooperatives collapsed as a result of the debilitating mismanagement and fraudulent practices by some of their employees and some board members.

“Lack of swift interventions and installing preventive control measures crippled the commercial viability and self-sustenance of these cooperatives,” Butale said. He also noted that some small and medium scale cooperatives are not in a position to competitively attract and retain skilled and experienced employees, especially at management level.

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