At least twenty graduate students from the United States of America best business school, Kelley School of Business of Indiana University, are in Botswana to round off their International Business Consulting course geared at capacitating local Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s).
The visit is part of the Global Business Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) programme, instituted by the Kelley School of Business. The programme is a graduate business curriculum for post graduate students, geared at capacitating SMME’s from emerging countries.
The graduate students’ visit to Botswana consists of on-site observations, and final recommendations from the specialist graduates. Based on their skills, experience and interests, students are assigned to teams which constitute four members to solve a problem faced by a non-profit or small business enterprise that serves local markets in an emerging economy.
Speaking at the welcoming session, Verily Molatedi the deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) said such partnerships are essential to assist SMME’s with growth strategies.
She said the partnership is an enormous opportunity for the sector and also for diversifying the economy. “Kelly School of Business varied inputs is essential for the diversification of our economy which needs to be dynamic and able to adapt to the changing economic climate,” said Molatedi.
The Faculty chairman at Kelly Business School, Professor Phillip Powell, said the reason why they are in Botswana is to impart the courageous leadership that their students have to the local SMME sector. “Our students have the courage, unique leadership skills that are much needed by the local SMME’s,” said Powell.
He added that through the onsite observations they will be able to recommend the right direction to take as well as providing innovative ideas. “We want to change the five organizations we are working with inside out and help them step into their dream,” said Powell.
He added that Africa is open for business and are eager to be part of Botswana’s growth, “We hope the five projects we are working on will help the country move forward.”
Powell expressed his confidence in the students saying they have had extensive business experience themselves, and are, therefore, suitably equipped to assess and recommend a way forward for local business.
One of the beneficiaries of the program, Dr Busang Mmueledi, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Integrated Veterinary, said the experience they have had with the business school is quite phenomenal.
“The students are amazing as they took time to look into our businesses and singled out our problems and how best we can solve them,” said Mmueledi. He added that he has learnt a lot regarding marketing, that the business culture is not only confined to Botswana only but has to expand into the regional and international market.
This partnership is expected to benefit other LEA SMMEs in 2014 and 2015 as the programme progresses.