Botswana looks to boost SMEs
Partners and stakeholders in business facilitation and development converged at the Micro and Small Businesses (SMEs) Pitso to adopt and finalise Final Draft Resolutions on Guidelines for Registration of SMEs Exempt from Licensing Requirements.
The draft resolutions were formulated during the previous SMEs Pitso that was held in October last year. Giving a keynote address at the Pitso, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, implored key partners in SMEs development, trade and business facilitation to join her ministry in ensuring that the national dreams of business growth, economic diversification and poverty eradication were realized in the medium to long term.
The Pitso themed: “SMEs, A Stepping Stone and Solid Foundation for Business Development and Economic Growth” was also meant to map the way forward on the next steps, on the guidelines, once adopted and finalised. Ms Makgato-Malesu said the aim of her ministry was to continue fostering stakeholder partnership in business facilitation, with particular attention to the development of SMEs, as these were a stepping stone and a foundation for business development as per the Pitso theme.
In her welcome remarks, ministry permanent secretary, Ms Banny Molosiwa, explained that the main purpose of the guidelines were to facilitate business development especially in the micro and small business category by exempting them from stringent licensing requirements which are perceived as a deterrent to setting up of such businesses. Ms Molosiwa said the ministry views the development of these guidelines as an initiative that would encourage the development of micro and small businesses. “We view the micro and small businesses as foundations for business development and ideal vehicles for economic growth and diversification,” she added. Therefore, she stressed that “there is need to nurture this category by ensuring that appropriate initiatives specifically geared towards creating a conducive business environment and reduced cost of doing business was created for their sustainability and development.”