Northern Fair a marketing base for SMMEs

FRANCISTOWN: The regional manager of Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM), Keabetswe Bogatsu says the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) need to register for the annual BOCCIM trade fair.

Bogatsu said this would grow their businesses as the fair gives SMMEs the opportunity to facilitate business talks, investments, transactions and other kinds of cooperation. He said this year’s Northern Trade Fair (NTF), scheduled to take place here from May 27-31, 2015, at the BOCCIM grounds, would be bigger and better compared to the previous years.

He said they were targeting to attract 8,000 people, which would translate to great exposure to exhibitors. He added that the fair is a base for SMMEs to market their businesses to a wider range of people.

“ It is a two-way benefit as the SMMEs get the opportunity to interact with the customers as well as interact with other business entities and by so doing they can form joint venture partnerships and get new investments,” he said.

Bogatsu noted that the SMMEs play a pivotal role in driving the country’s economy, adding that it was therefore essential to provide them with the platform to showcase their products and services, as well as boost their technical innovation applicable to the economy.

Owner of Midz Agric, Dr. Fanikiso Musa, whose company deals with livestock resources such as vaccines, said he is grateful for the BOCCIM move to hold the fair annually. 

“Through the fair, we establish solid relationships with our customers and their small businesses are being exposed both at the national and international level,” he said.

Musa however complained that the duration of the fair was too short, pleading that it be extended to at least a week to allow for more people to visit.

Abigail Jonathan from Sweet Lick, a decoration company, appreciated what BOCCIM does and said that they take small enterprise owners under one roof to help them run their businesses more professionally. “ BOCCIM enables us as SMMEs to meet under one roof where everyone can see us and ever since I attended the previous BOCCIM fairs, my business has improved a lot and I have more customers,” she said.

Jonathan added that she won the ‘most presentable stall’ award at last year’s and she want to win same prize again this year.

There have, however, been suggestions for the fair management team to improve advertising in order to lure more participants and attendants.

Rebonyeng Hick of VILLA Investments was one disgruntled business owner who feels that the BOCCIM fair is poorly organised.

“The fair is never advertised prior to the main event in order to attract many people.

BOCCIM should utilise media to sensitise members of the public to the fair. We can only benefit from the fair as SMMEs, if more people know about it,” she said.

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