Sheila Khama, the chairperson of Peo Holdings and Chief Executive Officer of De Beers Botswana, vowed to follow through Debswana supply chain management to ensure that businesses that benefited from their scheme do get support.
Khama, who was speaking on the heels of the recommendation of a new study which looked at the review of the venture capital fund, said one of the things which they will have to look at is to widen the market for Batswana businesses by giving them support through supply chain management and diamond beneficiation.
“Of all the recommendations, two stand out. I will be pursuing the (issue of) supply chain management vigorously and I will engage our partners at Debswana,” she said.
Peo Holdings is the country’s bell-weather in the venture capital fund industry started by De Beers and Debswana 10 years ago with the view of broadening the economic base and helping Batswana to climb the business ladder. So far, it has assisted 40 business ventures and has P40 million targeted to new companies to be formed.
“Ten years is a milestone and not so many companies have managed to survive that long. I think we have set an example to other companies that if you want to help you can do it,” she said in an interview.
“We do not have an entrepreneurial culture in this country and those who want people to grow have to hold them by the hand through mentoring. However, more and more people are entering into business,” she said, adding that nowadays they are getting more business proposals than before.
She said given the war chest which Peo Holdings has the most logical thing would be to increase the benchmark by having fewer and bigger projects which will make an impact within the country’s economic landscape.
Khama has shrugged off some demands for more money to be injected into the venture capital fund for it to be on competitive level with its peers in the market.
“I will not pursue that one because you can not throw money to a problem. I think money is not a problem the problem is that we do have a limited market and the supply chain management has to give us that,” she said.
Khama added: “It is our intention to undertake a study to see how beneficiation and supply chain management can compliment each other.”
However, she was “disappointed” that some other corporate bodies in the country have failed to copy De Beers and Debswana model aimed at empowering Batswana in the business sector.