PPC Botswana has invested in local enterprise development in an effort to help Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMES) become self-sustainable.
This was revealed by PPC Botswana Head of Business Unit, Tuelo Botlhole, during the ‘Buy Botswana Expo’ held on Monday.
PPC Botswana, a local cement producer, has been heavily involved in SMME empowerment, community development projects, and citizen empowerment as part of its Corporate Social Investment (CSI).
“Our involvement in communities over the years has encouraged us to actively participate in the emancipation of citizens, local communities in our quest to enhance Botswana and her citizens even further,” stated Botlhole.
The first-ever Virtual PPC Buy Botswana Conference was held under the theme, ‘Building Together, Unlocking Community Enterprises’.
“The main mandate of our initiative is to conceptualize, promote, and support locally-owned independent enterprises in the country. The aim is to maintain our unique community character, providing continuing opportunities for entrepreneurs, build community economic strength, and prevent the displacement of community-based businesses,” Botlhole pointed out.
Botlhole further explained PPC Botswana seeks to help grow the local economy in line with the Vision 2036 pillar of promoting sustainable economic development.
Giving an address at the conference, Botswana Telecommunications Limited (BTC) Managing Director (MD), Anthony Masunga highlighted the role of SMMEs in economic growth, job creation, and economic and social cohesion.
However, he noted that for SMMEs to transform and perform at an optimum level certain conditions must be in place, the least of which should be digitization.
“Technological advancements can help SMMEs remodel their existing business and take advantage of existing and new opportunities. At BTC, we understand this, and we have initiatives in place to support SMEs to make large contributions to vital economic indicators as well as household incomes,” said Masunga.
The MD revealed market access, finance, bookings, and strategy for SMEs have all been made easy through BTC’s presence in ‘hostile’ terrains ‘perceived unthinkable’ by mainstream networks.
“We have also introduced affordable packages specifically for SMEs like Net-Connect, and Net-Connect Plus, which allows small SMEs to share bandwidth while Premium Connect provides dedicated internet service,” he said.
The event organiser, Sello Motseta said The Buy Botswana Expo and Thought Leadership Conference 2020 brought together various actors to explore opportunities for local manufacturers and service providers.
“This is significant because some Procuring Entities (PEs) purchase their goods and services from local providers while others continue to import some products despite local alternatives,” he noted.