For the past 11 years, the National Women’s Exposition has experienced a major growth both in profile and popularity.
In 2000, there were 70 exhibitors and a significant increase of 200 exhibitors has been realised to date.
“Women have shown interest year after year. The benefits are visible and can be attested to by mentioning that some women entrepreneurs graduated from micro levels across a range of businesses, to international standards, and have participated at global exposition levels,” said Kelebogile Kgabi, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.
Kgabi stated that the Women’s Affairs Department, under the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, initiated the National Women’s Exposition on realization that micro enterprises needed some development, especially in market access.
She stated that one of the objectives of the exposition is creating an opportunity to forge links and create partnerships and networking among entrepreneurs and expose women to new products from other regions and areas within the country and also, through demonstrations, to learn how to create those products and further improvise, using locally available materials and resources.
The provision of financial grants to women to initiate income generating projects with a view to sustain their livelihood is one of the adopted strategies by the Ministry in an effort to reduce poverty and address lack of equality between men and women in the trade and economic sphere in Botswana.
Valenciah Mogegeh, Director of Women’s Affairs Department, noted that, they do not sustain the entrepreneurs endlessly as they normally give them support for three to five years.
“Every year, we graduate about 5 to10 women and have more than 50 percent as new entrepreneurs. We are proud to say that we are realising growth,” she said.
The Ministry will hold the 12th National Women Exposition in Gaborone at Ditshupo Hall, from the 4-9th July, under the theme “Women entrepreneurs in the informal sector: pillars in economic diversification.”