Mmegi Online :: Help SMMEs grow - LEA
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Last Updated
Friday 15 December 2017, 17:56 pm.
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Help SMMEs grow - LEA

RAMOTSWA: Local procurement officers have been urged to consider Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) in tendering processes for locally available goods and services, said the Manager of the Ramotswa branch of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) here recently.
By FREDERICK KEBADIRETSE
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Help SMMEs grow - LEA








Dulu Moaisi was speaking at a briefing by a procurement specialist at Ramotswa Lodge.

She said it is essential to help SMMEs grow by helping them find markets and that this is possible mainly through their recognition by procurers.

"SMMEs experience certain drawbacks when it comes to tendering," she said. "They are (often) excluded from some tenders (because) procurers assume the tender is too big for them."

SMMEs are also disadvantaged by certain pieces of legislation that are tough or too difficult to abide by; LEA will therefore play an intermediary role between the SMMEs and procurers without compromising the quality of goods and services, Moaisi said.

"We want to make sure they are recognised," she said. "Legislation (should) be adjusted to bridge existing gaps between SMMEs and established macro-enterprises during competition for tenders."

Speaking at the same occasion, the Member of Parliament for Ramotswa, Odirile Motlhale, said SMMEs are the heartbeat of any economy and that for that reason, obstacles in front of them that stunt their growth should be removed.

Motlhale said because it is becoming increasingly difficult to find business plots in Botswana, the government should consider letting SMMEs operate from whatever space is

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available, as long as they meet required standards of operation.

Instead of having them lose competitiveness, SMMEs "should even be allowed to operate from backyards", the MP said. "It is like that in blooming economies like China." It is actually essential for procurers to encourage SMMEs by putting their products in line to compete with imports, especially from South Africa where Botswana sources most of its consumables, he added.

He identified the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BoBS) as another hindrance because of its long and costly process of certification during which certain SMMEs have been known to give up and cease trading.

Motlhale said he would raise his voice in Parliament to assist wherever possible, especially regarding legislation.

The briefing also included a presentation on LEA's portfolio of SMMEs in Ramotswa by Khaolani Phineas, a market analyst with LEA.

It was held under the theme: "Buying Locally Produced Goods: The Key to Promoting Local Economic Empowerment." It brought SMMEs from Ramotswa and its environs together to discuss procurement and other problems that hinder their growth. Participating SMMEs also had the opportunity to display their products in a mini-exhibition at the end of the briefing.

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