Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) intends to contribute towards the reduction of the import bill through the development of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Speaking at a media tour recently, the chief executive officer, Dr Racious Moatshe said SMEs could reduce the country’s huge import bill if they are adequately funded and supported.
He stated that small businesses play a critical role in sustaining lives, which is a reflection that they have the potential to help the country reduce imports.
“We need SMEs to produce enough products so that they can grow and develop into fully fledged corporates. It is possible for SMEs to grow from small medium projects into a (huge) corporate (entity),” he added.
Moatshe, who has been at the helm of the Authority since September last year, said a lot could be achieved through collaborations with organisations that have similar mandates as LEA.
“What we are looking at is to synergise strategies with other players such as CEDA and the youth ministry to see how well we can work to assist entrepreneurs,” he added.
Since inception, Moatshe said that they had incubated 104 entrepreneurs at the Glen Valley incubator, who have already graduated noting that the remaining 24 would graduate this March.
Further, he called for partnerships noting that they have plans to develop the 20 hectares of land for commercialisation and training of entrepreneurs with viable businesses.
For his part, one of the incubators at Glen Valley, Jacob Thebenala pleaded with financiers to come on board and assist graduating entrepreneurs.
“It is very difficult for young entrepreneurs to venture (into business) and succeed because of lack of funding,” he said.
Thebenala also called on government to cease plots from those who have been allocated the land for farming and re-distribute it to those who are keen to produce food for the country.
He further challenged government to assist them with fertilisers because they are too expensive for most small enterprises.
“At Parliament, you focus a lot more on the issue of Foot and Mouth (Disease) and the cattle. We would appreciate the same attention would be extended to us because we also want to produce food for the country,” he said.