The annual Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) fair and Pitso has increased product visibility for the exhibiting SMMEs and set the stage for strategic partnerships and linkages in business, said Vice President Lt. General Mompati Merafhe.
Speaking at the official opening of the fair and Pitso, Merafhe said small businesses are essential actors in any development process, playing a key role with larger enterprises in mobilising resources and allocating them among productive activities.
Merafhe added that SMMEs provide the main driving force behind the interrelated trade flows, investment and technology, on which the strength and dynamism of an economy depend.
“Government is conscious about the critical role that the small business sector can play in development,” Merafhe said.
In essence, small businesses, if properly mentored and managed, can promote national economic development through facilitating transition to a market economy, the vice president said.
He observed that small businesses also have an important role to play in the continued efforts to eradicate poverty and build a durable future for Botsana’s various communities.
Merafhe stressed the importance of promoting business linkages to ensure new market opportunities for small businesses.
This, he said, can be achieved through a database of goods and services they provide and matchmaker fairs, which will bring large corporations and small businesses together to explore linkage opportunities.
“At the risk of being misconstrued to be promoting a sense of entitlement among our SMMEs, I would like to submit that they should also be facilitated to work with large companies to enhance capacity development and technology transfer,” he explained.
Merafhe highlighted that in view of the fact that most of the enterprises in the informal sector are not documented and regarded in business, there is need for inclusive development approach that recognizes the role of the informal sector in economic growth.
LEA Chief Executive Officer, Tebogo Matome, expressed gratitude to local and international SMME exhibitors, other local and international exhibitors, and procurement specialists from various ministries, parastatals and the private sector for accepting to attend the Pitso.
“We are ever fortunate to be backed by the visionary and pragmatic political leadership as obtains in our parent Ministry of Trade and Industry; the idea of the SMME Pitso was the brain child of our Minister, to this end we thank your Ministry for having entrusted us with the custodianship of this prestigious Pitso,” said Matome.
The LEA fair and Pitso ended yesterday (Saturday) at Ditshupo Hall. It was a platform for all stakeholders in the SMME sector to consult and collaborate on the development of the sector in Botswana also contributed to create sustainable linkages amongst SMMEs as well as to help in finding lasting solutions to the problems bedeviling the SMME sector in Botswana.
LEA’s annual flagship event has been used as a platform for providing market access assistance and intervention to clients. SMME’s also had the opportunity to meet with other international exhibitors and service providers geared towards capacitating the SMME’s towards growth.