The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) have embarked on a journey that is aimed at modernising the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise sector.
Under the deal that was kick started with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding this week by the two institutions, undergraduates from the college will put theory to practice while entrepreneurs will benefit from modern ways of doing business.
BAC’s Executive Director Michael Lesolle said the MoU signed on Wednesday is the beginning of a relationship with LEA that will see SMMEs having access to knowledge transfer from college students.
“It is my hope that both undergraduates and entrepreneurs will benefit from this initiative,” Lesolle said, adding that the modalities of the execution will still be worked out.
“The roadmap and details of implementation will be put together and it will be preceded by a pilot,” he added.
According to the two organisations, entrepreneurs who are currently assisted by LEA will get first hand access into systematically maintaining books of account and general business management.
BAC provides business education in Accountancy, Computing, Business Management and Insurance and it is hoped that these skills will be impacted on small businesses around the country.
The move will be useful to the remote areas of Botswana where traditional methods of running business are common and Lesolle added a need assessment will be conducted for each case.
Chief Executive Officer for LEA, Dr Tebogo Matome, pointed out that there is a need for continued capacity development in the economy hence partnership with BAC.
He said his organisation partnered with the business school because it will assist them deliver their mission of promoting and facilitating small businesses and hence the development of micro and medium enterprises.
“The promotion and facilitation of entrepreneurship will be enabled through the exposure which the students gain from their attachment and it is our hope that this firsthand experience will help awaken the entrepreneurship spirit in those students who have the entrepreneurship traits to become tomorrow’s business owners,” stated Matome.
“It is also through the same process that students will assist LEA SMMEs to develop and implement systems which will help in running their businesses; that is specifically in the areas of accounting as well as general business management.”
It is also hoped that BAC will capacitate LEA Business Advisors through tailor made programmes which will enhance the business advisory services that LEA offers.
The partnership with the college comes at a time when LEA will transiting from agriculture sub sector focused strategy to a new one covering the period 2014-2017.
The organisation’s mission is to promote and facilitate entrepreneurship and SMME development through targeted interventions in pursuit of economic diversification.
Matome said they will use their distribution to spread out the interns around the country and not only focus around Gaborone where small businesses have more awareness. “LEA is evenly distributed; it will not be wise to cater for Gaborone society only which has better entrepreneurial capacity”.