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Peggy Serame

Botswana crafting relief package for SMEs

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Botswana has embarked on a nationwide initiative to develop a centralized database for small, medium-sized as well as micro-enterprises (SMMEs) countrywide, ahead of cushioning the businesses from the impact of COVID-19.

The initiative spearhead by the government through its startup enterprise development arm – Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), kicked off on Tuesday.

“In order to facilitate decision making on availing COVID-19 relief, informal sector businesses are required to have registered by 31st May 2020”

said the Director of Corporate and Stakeholder Communications, Boikhutso Kgomanyane.

She said the database will inform the development of targeted support programs and policies that will effectively benefit the SMME sector.

Kgomanyane encouraged entrepreneurs to register citing that in future, SMME business development support will only be availed to those registered on the SMME database.

Last week, LEA conducted a survey of 382 SMMEs and the findings revealed that 63 percent of businesses had suspended operations with an average reduction in monthly revenue of 47 percent.

LEA is a coordinated and focused one-stop shop authority that provides development and support services to the needs of SMMEs, encompassing business advisory, on-site coaching, and monitoring, training, mentoring, market access facilitation, technology, and innovation support.

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