The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has set aside P5 million that will be used for pre-project funding to support business start-ups with high impact and to ensure survival of existing ones.
The project that will be done in collaboration with the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) is currently in its final stages and will soon be implemented.
BusinessWeek is informed that the criteria for the initiative is currently being finalised between the two organisations.
Although official comment was unavailable this week, Investment, Trade and Industry permanent secretary, Peggy Serame recently confirmed the initiative saying it would be aimed at helping Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) grow beyond the infancy stage and penetrate markets beyond the country.
“We are also scaling up efforts to assist SMMEs to access markets both locally and externally. It is in that spirit that export-ready enterprises are enrolled in the Botswana Export Development Programme,” she said.
She added that the enterprises would be enrolled through collaboration with other partners and players in the private sector to help SMMEs. The stakeholders will list their products and services on one platform and also conduct street market on a quarterly basis to promote locally produced goods and services.
Meanwhile, LEA CEO Racious Moatshe recently said as part of the initiative, CEDA would also be responsible for funding of LEA incubator graduates.
Moatshe added that the two parastatals would conduct joint outreach and awareness creation through full councils as well as mobile stops.
“CEDA will focus on funding and providing the budget for some SMMEs while LEA will provide non-finance services such as training and mentoring as well as administration (of the P5 million fund),” he said.
He also revealed that the parastatal’s five-year strategy running from 2018 to 2023 was centred on developing competitive and sustainable SMMEs.
“To ensure this, we have made collaborations with several government entities including CEDA, the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Botswana International University of Science and Technology and the Gender Affairs Department to help nurture SMMEs in every possible way,” he said.
Moatshe added that these collaborations would come in handy, as LEA has established that SMMEs continue to struggle to access external markets.