The ILO Jobs Pact helps Botswana boost business through small and medium enterprises

Supporting small and medium enterprises pays off in Botswana

News | 17 February 2010

The Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and its Turin-based International Training Centre (ITC-ILO) stated that an inadequate response to the problems facing small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) could have a long-lasting negative effect on the country’s economy. This came out of a two-day seminar held in early February 2010 in Gaborone, assessing the effectiveness of Government measures in support of SMMEs.

The seminar looked at how measures contained in the Recovering from the crisis: A Global Jobs Pact can boost entrepreneurship and provide an immediate support to SMMEs as main drives for job creation in the recovery process. The Pact recommends specific provisions for small and medium enterprises and calls for a regulatory environment conducive to job creation and self employment programmes, enabling access to affordable credit and government subsidies.

Modiri Mbaakanyi, BOCCIM President, stressed that current problems SMEs are facing – lack of finance, constrained managerial potential, low productivity and regulatory barriers – have been exacerbated by crisis. "In Botswana, SMEs account for more than 50 per cent of private sector employment and more than 25 percent of national output. They also play a fundamental role in economic diversification and creation of sustainable rural employment," Mbaakanyi said.

Representatives of the Government, employers’ and workers’ organization together with donor agencies and financial institutions established an action plan, calling for business endorsement and government appropriate implementation.

For more information on the crisis in Botswana, please visit the ILO Job Crisis Observatory.

For more information on the ILO Global Jobs Pact, please contact