SEFHARE: Women’s contribution to the economy through the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) is better than that of men, health minister Dorcas Makgato said.
Makgato said this at the launch of the Sefhare branch of Women’s Finance House Botswana (WFHB) last week that women strive, through small business, to support their families despite the challenges that they had to contend with in life. “However, this has not always been a piece of cake since they always have to overcome some challenges that come with being a woman and as such they ought to be supported and encouraged,” she said.
She said she appreciated organisations such as WFHB that continued to support women financially to start businesses and teach them business management. “Therefore it is my pleasure today to open WFHB centre in my area which will, without a doubt, bring about tremendous change to the women of this area, as it will address some of the major difficulties and constraints that hamper the success of the SMME sector,” she added.
Makgato advised women in her Sefhare-Ramokgonami constituency to spend the money from WFHB on what it was meant for. She said she also appreciated the support from Standard Chartered Bank, which continues to support SMMEs through NGOs such as WFHB. She urged women to diversify their investments instead of saturating one lucrative business until it ceased to be rewarding. The bank’s chief executive officer, Moatlhodi Lekaukau, said as part of an ongoing drive towards supporting SMMEs in Botswana, Standard
Through collaboration with organisations such as LEA and WFHB, Lekaukau said Standard Chartered Bank aspired to foster strong business ties, increased business knowledge and access to previously unserved markets.
“We help organisations that have vision like WFHB which has emerged as a trailblazer in answering the question of how to mobilise funds to make a reality of small business potential,” he said. Lekaukau said his bank’s relationship with WFHB started in 2013 after it accepted their proposal, leading to the injection of P1 million in 2014 to help achieve dreams of women across the country. He promised that the bank would continue to undergird WFHB for many years to come.
“Standard Chartered Bank remains committed to growing and developing SMMEs across the nation, a sector that we believe is a key engine of growth for the nation’s economy,” he said. Lekaukau advised the beneficiary-women to work hard and make sure that they pay back the loan they got from WFHB so that it could survive longer and help many women across the country.
WFHB is also known as Thusang Basadi Centre. It was established in 1989 to help alleviate poverty and provide access to financial service to low income women entrepreneurs, with special emphasis on those who do not have access to conventional financial institutions.