Poor showing by women at Women Exposition
by Ngonidzashe Dzimiri
Women in the informal sector continue to grapple with poor quality products as was, once again, witnessed at this year 13th Annual Women’s Exposition.
Players in the informal sector for some time have been trying to come to grips with quality in their products.
“The quality of products has plummeted this year as compared to last year,” said Chisina Mmualefhe, one of the chief judges at the Exposition.
Women have made headway in the informal sector trade but are still facing challenges in the formal sector due to the poor quality of their products.
“Women Affairs Department should endeavour in urgently assisting the women to improve the quality of their products,” said Chilisa.
The 2007 Informal Sector Survey conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) indicated that 44 277 persons are involved in the informal sector trade in Botswana of which 63, 7 percent are women. However, women entrepreneurs participating are failing to grow through the micro levels, due to financial constraints.
Chilisa said another notable observation made was that the majority of women in business do not have the marketing strategies hence they are failing to penetrate into the domestic and international market.
“Women cannot market their own products, they lack the much needed marketing skills,” she said.
Another key factor she highlighted as inhibiting growth within this sector was the absence of creativity; she urged women “to foster creativity in your businesses to be competitive in the market”.
In addition, Chilisa said there was no competition this year in the products as “the products were not competitive enough hence the competition was limited to a few individuals”.
The expo that took place last week was well attended with 200 exhibitors from various sectors including, textile, construction, herbs pottery, basketry, bread and confectionary.
The Exposition is meant to offer women entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their work, share experiences, ideas and skills related to their products as well as to create a conducive environment for them to market their products.