BOCCIM Launches Programme To Assist SMMEs

BOCCIM CEO Maria Machailo- Ellis (left) handing a certificate to Monica Ditsabatho during PROWESS launch
BOCCIM CEO Maria Machailo- Ellis (left) handing a certificate to Monica Ditsabatho during PROWESS launch

The Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) last week launched a new programme that will help sustain Small Macro and Medium enterprises (SMME’s).

BOCCIM will soon rebrand to Business Botswana after a resolution to change its name was given the greenlight at a general meeting held recently.

The programme dubbed, Productivity Rising of Working Conditions Through The Enhancement Of All Small And medium Sustainable Entrepreneurs (Prowess), is a business model supported by International Labour Organisation (ILO).

It contains seven-business models that link training and coaching elements that have been identified as important tools in running a sustainable business.


Speaking during the launch, an official of Prowess, Lenni George, said that through the invitation of BOCCIM they came to Botswana in 2013 to survey the market and identify gaps that hinder SMME’s to be sustainable.

“SMMEs play a very crucial part to the development of each economy especially in the creation of jobs. In some parts of Africa, about 80 percent of SMMEs collapse in four years which usually affects the economy,” said George.

Out of 12 Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) qualified trainers that took part in the training and coaching of the programme, only six of them qualified as trainers.

“We have about six trainers who will be offering this service to the small businesses across the country. As part of their assignment last week, they successfully trained about 38 participants who were divided into two groups.”

The Prowess seven modules address issues of productivity and performance, quality, workplace improvements, managing and developing people, managing occupational safety and health, marketing and getting organised. 

Another Prowess official, Nat Clegg said that coaching is an important element in a business as it helps to inspire the client to maximise their professional potential.

He added that Prowess provides a quick accessible way of solving problems.

BOCCIM Chief Executive Officer Maria Machaio-Ellis said that Prowess is part of their evolution strategy, and partnering with ILO to deliver this, came in handy.

She further noted that their trainers would deliver the best skills that are needed to improve services that the SMME’s need to thrive.  

“We will focus on issues of competitiveness. This is a very good starting point to our mandate,” she said. 

One of the trainers, Ed Bannerman said that they would ensure that they deliver skills that are acquired during training to the business environment of Botswana, as he believes that SMME’s are the engines of sustainable growth of each economy.

Gofaone Maswabi, a Health and Safety Officer at Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), who is one of the participants said that Prowess is unique as she learnt during the training that it requires teamwork for the business to be successful.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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