Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Peggy Serame has urged businesses and entrepreneurs to value their environment and their stakeholders if they want to remain in business.
When giving a keynote address at the 2020 Project 124 entrepreneurship virtual conference held under the theme “accelerating entrepreneurs towards better futures,” Minister Serame highlighted the importance of ecosystems to a business.
Minister Serame said government reviewed the Small and Micro Enterprises (SME) policy and came up with a national entrepreneurship policy.
“We recognise that we need to look at entrepreneurship in its comprehensive nature and go beyond just SMEs. One of the key pillars of the policy is building an ecosystem. A lot of people go into business with an idea and go at it alone. Whereas what is going to sustain you is recognising that you are part of an ecosystem. Being part of an ecosystem is recognising that you might have a brilliant idea but to make it work, grow it and sustain it you are going to need other people,” she said.
“The other thing related to this is that there are a lot of people with brilliant ideas, but there is no way to nurture those brilliant ideas into businesses that are scalable and competitive globally. As government we are looking at over the coming years at putting a national idea centre which I believe it must be government working with all stakeholders to make sure those ideas can be nurtured into something that we can
“Batswana most times have good ideas but they do not know how to market, so I’m also saying you might have a good idea but it is important to ask yourself if you are the right person to market it. If not then you need to someone else to put your product on the market and that is something we need to recognise,” she said.
The Minister further urged all entrepreneurs to be more trustworthy and accountable in their businesses. As a lot of companies in Botswana have recently seen employees go on strikes and the Minister believes it is because companies update shareholders and directors about the performance and challenges of the business.