Botswana: Official Urges Business Aspirants to Utilise Fund

Maun — Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) business executive officer in Maun, Mr Outwile Ebutswe says the newly introduced pre-facilitation fund is underutilised.

Mr Ebutswe made the observation at a LEA leather park seminar that was held in Maun recently with farmers and other stakeholders.

He said the pre-facilitation fund was established to help business aspirants overcome challenges of access to funds.

Mr Ebutswe noted that through the fund business enthusiasts were assisted to process pre-requirements such as the Environmental Impact Assessment study which hindered many aspirants to be eligible for funding by financial institutions.

He, however, said the fund had not been fully utilised since it was introduced about four months ago.

He noted that the fund was a joint mission between LEA and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.

The fund, he said, was allocated P5 million from inception for business facilitation processes, and that only P200 000 had been utilised.

Mr Ebutswe noted that business projects that were viable for the loan/grant through the pre-facilitation fund were high impact projects and processing sectors.

The business projects, he said, were those with the possibility to create employment, income generation for the business people and grow the economy of the country.

Furthermore, Mr Ebutswe said LEA assisted Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) with skills and mentoring for business plans and market access.

He said the LEA incubator in Gaborone, for instance, empowered small and medium business people, adding that the entrepreneurs were also facilitated to network and access international markets through exports and imports.

Source : BOPA

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