SMME Pitso to debut in Francistown

Moatshe awarding Matlhogonolo Gaotshabelwe a certificate after she has completed the liquid detergent-making training in Francistown PIC: LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Moatshe awarding Matlhogonolo Gaotshabelwe a certificate after she has completed the liquid detergent-making training in Francistown PIC: LESEDI MKHUTSHWA

FRANCISTOWN: Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) chief executive officer, Racious Moatshe says the parastatal will for the first time move out of the capital to Francistown for its 10th Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Pitso and Fair.

The eagerly awaited three-day event is scheduled to run from March 27 to 30, 2019 at the Francistown Industrial Business Incubator under the theme ‘Empowering SMMEs in Pursuit of Business Development and Economic Diversification’.

Addressing graduates of liquid detergents-making programme on Monday, Moatshe said SMMEs were critical in the economy, hence the need to spread the efforts to develop them throughout the country. “SMMEs are the journey of growth for every economy because they create jobs, which is why for the first time ever, we are going to host the SMME Pitso and Fair in the second city,” he said. 

“The event is expected to create an opportunity for SMMEs to gain market access by linking them to procuring entities.” Moatshe said while there was a view that SMMEs impact on employment levels is minimal; when these businesses’ contribution is aggregated they do play a critical role. “There are no jobs in Botswana and Southern Africa as a whole. Recently, while interacting with SADC and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) forum, we learnt that about 5.5 million young people in South Africa are unemployed as well as 2.9 million in other SADC countries.


“When we talk of hundreds or thousands of unemployed youth in Botswana, this does not even make sense to them. However, the turmoil of having these thousands or hundreds of unemployed youth is too much, looking at the country’s population.” He urged entrepreneurs to take advantage of funding opportunities such as those provided through the Youth Development Fund, Gender Affairs Department, and CEDA, in order to create employment for themselves and others.

  If you are given the opportunity of funding, please commit fully to your businesses so that you can bear fruit and increase jobs in this country,” Moatshe said.  “Passion should drive your hunger for success because where there is passion there is no failure.  One can only succeed through hard work and determination.”

The SMME Pitso and Fair is the country’s largest single gathering of small businesses aimed at interfacing with policymakers and peers, while also providing a platform for networking and sales.

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