Choppies Enterprises has struck a partnership deal with Women In Business Association (WIBA) where members of the non-governmental organisation will make diphaphatha and biltong to be retailed in the listed grocer’s supermarkets.
WIBApresident, Nametso Ntsosa-Carr told BusinessMonitor the partnership will also empower their members as experts have been called in to train them to produce quality products.
“We are excited about such opportunities. Choppies will provide our members with mixed flours to bake diphaphatha, which will be sold in Choppies shops across the country. In addition Choppies will give our members biltong maker machine and provide beef for our members to make biltong,” she said.
Last week, Friday WIBA embarked on a countrywide tour with the aim of empowering its members on ways to navigate the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses. The tour will see the team engage women in Palapye, Francistown, Maun and Gantsi.
Ntsosa-Carr said just like most businesses, WIBA members have been hard-hit by the pandemic as most of them face severe losses in revenues while some are headed for collapse, noting that most Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises are heavily traumatised by the impact of COVID-19 in their liquidity position and business survival.
“We have realised that the pandemic has forced some of our members to close their businesses. Some are struggling, hence why we decided to embark on a tour to engage them, find out what are some of the challenges their businesses are facing during this pandemic and try to come up with some solutions that can assist them,” she said.
The discussions covered topics such as teaching WIBA members
“We recently held training on entrepreneurship, ICT and COVID-19 impact with our members in Maun and Ghanzi. It was very productive as our members were able to learn how to open an email account, utilisation of social media to market the business, website creation to mention a few,” she revealed. WIBA is also working on assisting its members in the retail industry to penetrate the regional market as they are currently in negotiations with a franchise which has 78 stores across the country to have local products in their shops.
Since elected into office, Ntsosa-Carr’ s footprint has been visible as she has managed to forge partnerships with other SADC businesses like the South African North West Business Association. Some of the WIBA members have struck partnerships as far as Lesotho, Tanzania and Kenya while others have managed to penetrate the Israel market through agro-business.
WIBA previously held workshops for its members with Botswana Bureau of Standards, Botswana Unified Revenue Service, Local Enterprise Authority and Companies and Intellectual Property Authority.
Ntsosa-Carr said the informal sector has potential and opportunities are evident and as WIBA pledge to provide advocacy plans and capacity building in order to enable businesswomen to acquire business skills and have their challenges addressed.