Wednesday, January 19, 2022

LEA’s new strategy to benefit small, medium and micro enterprises

LEA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Tebogo Matome recently revealed that the thrust of the new strategy is based on the adoptions of an “all-sector” focus and differentiated service offerings. In adopting the business model, he said, LEA was cognizant of the fact that it was operating in a resource constrained environment.

In its latest business model, LEA maintained its vision, mission and values but created two wings that will cater for micro enterprises on one hand and small and medium enterprises on the other hand.

Dr Matome believes it is prudent for organizations to, from time to time, pause and reflect on whether their basic strategies are still relevant and consistent with current evidence, observations and experiences. Informed by this principle, LEA made extensive consultations with its key stakeholders, both internal and external. These included Ministries of Trade and Industry, Youth, Sport and Culture and Office of the President (OP).

“In line with service differentiation, LEA is to design fit-for-purpose service offerings to prevent over engineering, in order to offer more value to clients as per their needs. LEA has created two service wings in, micro enterprise (ME) wing and small and medium enterprise (SME) wing,” he said.
Several factors necessitated the re-modeling exercise. It was embarked upon to align the Agency’s incubation services with the adopted new strategy 2014-17. Dr Matome said there is need to ensure sustainability of the incubation program into the future, increase the number of beneficiaries per period and improve technology transfer and adoption.

“Micro enterprises are classified as those enterprises that make revenue of less than P 300,000 per annum. Service offering to such enterprises will be in the form of training, over the counter interventions and workshops. Our training will be on four LEA accredited courses being sales and marketing, business planning, and records keeping,” he said.

To enhance technology adoption among SMMEs, LEA has established an incubation program and set up four incubators. The Pilane multi sector incubator was set up in 2009, the leather industries incubator in 2010, Francistown industrial business incubator in 2011 and the Glen Valley horticulture incubator in 2011. The incubators are meant to foster accelerated growth for existing businesses in the LEA database, provide space and shared services at subsidized rates and facilitate handholding of incubates and provision of technical and business interventions.

Small and medium enterprises are those with a turnover of more than P 300,000 per annum. LEA’s service offerings to small and medium enterprises have been designed to offer customer-centric, high quality interventions and services as well as capacity building.

But there have been problems along the way. Dr Matome said there was not enough financial and human resource capital and the situation was made worse by the 2008/9 global recession. Also, it became clear that 51 percent of clients in the LEA database were from the agriculture sector and the import bill from the four subsectors was huge.

But the gains are there for all to see. Since inception, LEA has created 4995 jobs. As at the end of March 2014 a total of 568 additional jobs were created against an annual target of 667, representing an optimal performance level of 85 percent. Dr Matome was also proud to share that LEA has trained a total of 9317 entrepreneurs, in an endeavor to improve and enhance enterprise capacity and competitiveness.

In addition, LEA has screened 11 382 clients, 8290 of which passed while 3079 failed. 11 382 enterprises have been set up while 3983 sustainable jobs for the current portfolio were created.

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