Botswana’s major commercial creative platform – Ideas Expo – brought together a creative stir of entrepreneurs, crafters, creativity enthusiasts and high profiled speakers during their three day event. Despite the chilly weather, a decent number of people turned out for the expo’s fifth edition.
US ambassador to Botswana, Earl Miller, opened the event with a brief speech that highlighted the importance of creative industries in diversifying Botswana’s economy. “Ideas ExpoÔÇöco-founded a few years ago by one of our 2014 Mandela Washington alumni, Tumiso Mabusela, is a great platform that fosters entrepreneurship and creates an environment of innovation which is essential for Botswana’s economy,” said Miller.
For the many that gathered in the UB faculty of business auditorium to be inspired by the success stories of renowned industry leaders, the expo was an ideal place to spark innovation and also learn ways in which they can commercialise their ideas. The event exemplified this as it had fifteen exhibitors ranging from fashion, jewellery, art, design, handmade furniture and foodstuffs. “It gives us a platform to network and gain new clients,” said one of the exhibitors, interior designer Thandie Sibanda.
Some noteworthy advice was shared by the ten speakers. Standing out were comments such as clients should know what they get and what they pay for, Bakang Seretse stating the importance of collaborating with people that will nourish your ideas and the crowd favourite Khaya Dlanga who commented on the role of creativity, “Creativity best serves us when it has a purpose,” he said.
The event still has more room to grow and becoming more engaging. It is a platform that will eventually become one of Botswana’s creative hubs that nurture local creative entrepreneurs to produce borderless products and services.