The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) is handicapped to host the 5th edition of the annual Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Pitso, which is the biggest market access intervention for SMMES’s.
The annual fair, which gives more vitality and growth momentum in the SMEs, will not take place due to financial constraints crippling the enterprise.
Dr Tebogo Matome, the CEO at LEA, revealed earlier this year that LEA has been allocated P122 million for the 2013 financial year, similar to last year budget which saw the enterprise recording 5 percent shortfall.
The absence of the fair this year is expected to hit hard on the SMME’s who have in the past used the platform to fast-track business development and gain entrepreneurial acumen and expertise to produce innovative and successful enterprises.
Nyaladzi Kutjwe, the Director, Corporate & Stakeholder Communications at LEA, confirmed that the organisation does not have the capacity to host 5TH edition of the annual fair.
“Due to the absence of the fair, LEA has reacted by bringing up the sub-event of the Fair which is the SMME Pitso that will run concurrently with a Buyer Seminar,” she said. Kutjwe, however, emphasized that the Pitso and buyer seminar are not replacing the fair.
This will be the third SMME Pitso, which is facilitated by LEA on behalf of The Ministry of Trade & Industry.
Expounding on this year’s Pitso and buyers seminar, Kutjwe said their intention is to provide a platform for discussion on challenges, existing opportunities and lessons learnt in building sustainable and competitive SMMEs, as Botswana gears towards a diversified economy.
Through buyer Seminar, LEA anticipates an interaction between retailers and SMMEs to enable enterprises to get an insight about supplier’s expectations.
Kutjwe said SMMEs’ presence at the Pitso and Buyer Seminar will give them a platform where they strive to be at par with market trends and be on a competitive edge.
“We encourage SMMEs to register to attend the event to interact with Policy makers and Retail owners to be able to create strategic linkages,” she said.
The Botswana SMME Pitso & Buyer seminar event is scheduled for the 25th April 2013 and will be held under the theme: “Building sustainable and competitive SMMEs as a key to economic diversification; challenges, opportunities and lessons learnt”.
It will be held at the Boipuso Hall, Fairground Holdings.