US mentors handhold LEA clients

Kelley Business School and LEA officials at yesterday's meeting held in Gaborone. PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
Kelley Business School and LEA officials at yesterday's meeting held in Gaborone. PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE

Four Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) clients will this week begin a mentorship and business advisory programme led by about 20 delegates from the Kelley Business School of the Indiana University, USA.

The programme has since its inception in 2013 benefited 19 LEA assisted Small Macro Medium Enterprises (SMMEs).

This year’s beneficiaries include Kgositau engineering, Forensic and Allied services, Kinder World pre-school and Key eye solutions.

Through this programme, the Kelley Business School final year students carry out robust advisory and mentoring services on the identified businesses as part of practical work for their qualification.

The Chief Executive Officer of LEA, Dr Tebogo Matome said that through this programme, the Kelley Business School delegates get to experience practical appreciation of SMMEs operations and work with these SMMEs in identifying solutions to some of the challenges that impede success in some of their businesses.

“Most importantly, this experience is gained far away from America in a different business environment and it complements what we are doing here. Our main focus is to handhold small and medium enterprises to offer them feed for change intervention that will grow their business into competitive and sustainable ones,” he said.

According to Matome, the interaction between the team and four business owners will inspire and empower small enterprises to grow their businesses, citing that the previous programme beneficiaries used the knowledge they attained to improve their businesses.

Matome added that LEA is able to attain their dreams of empowering and growing businesses through partnerships like the Kelley Business School. “We want to grow beyond SMMEs status as we believe our interventions have the capability of transforming into large and standalone entities,” he said.

Kelley Business School professor Phillip Powell said the partnership has been successful and has inspired a revolution in the manner in which they teach. He commended LEA for their efforts to seek vibrant entrepreneurial systems to unlock vibrancy.

One of the programme beneficiaries, the director of Kinder World, Pondy Morwaeng, thanked the Kelley Business School on the opportunity to learn more about business.

“As entrepreneurs all we think we need for our businesses to thrive is money, while we instead also need mentoring and business advisory. It is through changing my attitude towards business that has allowed my business to prosper,” she said.

LEA and the Kelley Business School started the partnership to implement the Global Business Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) programme.

LEA registered and trained 102 SMMEs in the year up to March 2015 against a target of 41.  In the same period, 4,995 micro enterprises were registered against a target of 1,760.

“In the 2014-2015 financial year, which was the first of our three year strategy, we received an avalanche of applicants from clients. This was mainly due to opening up to all sectors of the economy unlike in the past when we only concentrated on four sub-sectors,” Matome told the media recently.  In the period, a total of 1,445 jobs were created.  About 317 of them were created directly through LEA interventions, with a total investment value of P206.9 million against a target of P85.5 million.

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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