The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has funded a total of 761 projects to the tune of P368 million since April 2018 to date.
CEDA Chief Executive Officer Thabo Thamane said the funding was across various sectors including, agribusiness, manufacturing, property development, and services – creating a total of 1 934 jobs.
Thamane said with the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) objective of diversifying the economic and export base of Botswana, the agency is proud to have forged partnerships with entities such as the Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB).
He believes entrepreneurs through their breakthrough technologies and rapidly growing businesses have the potential to create new wealth that can generate even greater economic growth.
Thamane said evidence suggests that start-ups and young businesses make important contributions to job creation, innovation and productivity growth.
The CEO said in 2018, CEDA engaged with District Councils and the Ministry of Local Government to enable local businesses to use the agency’s services such as purchase order financing and invoice discounting when supplying various departments.
He stated that engagements will be held during the course of the year to cement and grow those relationships.
“We provide financial and technical support for business development with a view to the promotion of viable and sustainable citizen-owned business enterprises,” he said.
He said CEDA has re-opened the Letlhakane branch to service the Boteti region and that the branch will service key areas such as Rakops, Mopipi, Orapa, Letlhakane, Mmatshumo and Khumaga. He added that through the main branch, the agency will also sensitise Batswana on the agency’s products and services and effectively monitor current client projects.
He said further to having opened the Letlhakane Branch late last year, they will be re-opening the Tsabong branch during the course of 2019, which is currently serviced from Hukuntsi.
The additions of the branches to the CEDA network is expected to assist in promoting access to the agency’s service offering.
“We are optimistic about the future, and contribution to the government vision,” said Thamane.
CEDA appreciates government’s commitment on the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD), which rose to P17.2 billion or 53 percent of all purchased goods purchased sourced from local manufacturers and service providers.
Following the delivery of the budget speech, with a focus on growing and diversifying the economy, Thamane believes the organization is in a position to play a pivotal role in supporting local entrepreneurs and companies to access opportunities in the local market.
He added that through structured and trade finance offerings, which offer highly competitive rates, CEDA has an offering for every Motswana who wants to venture into or is in business.
“Working in Pandamatenga, which is a SEZ for agro-business, we have financed substantial projects through collaboration with our partners. We facilitated improved market access for our client,” said Thamane.