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BITC calls entrepreneurs to improve product quality

16 May 2023

Maun entrepreneurs have been implored to focus on providing products and services suitable for the global market.

Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) Investment and Promotion manager Ms Nomankosi Mookodi said this during a workshop held at Maun Lodge to appraise local entrepreneurs on BITC mandate, services offered and opportunities they could tap into to grow their businesses and exploit the market.

Ms Mookodi urged entrepreneurs to utilise BITC services to increase production, improve quality of products and services in order to penetrate the international markets.

She said BITC aimed to  promote locally manufactured goods in regional and international markets as well as contribute towards the improvement of the investment climate through policy advocacy.

“As an institution, we offer services capable of increasing your production and expanding your market base, hence we encourage you to fully utilise our services so that your products and services can match the international standards and easily penetrate the global market,” she said.

Ms Mookodi further advised entrepreneurs not to limit themselves to the domestic market, noting that the institution was promoting both domestic and Foreign Direct Investment.

The BITC, she said, was assisting local entrepreneurs to own strong companies that would provide quality products and services.

Furthermore, she noted that there was a huge market outside borders and motivated entrepreneurs to satisfy production capacity and quality aspect in order to exploit the readily available market.

The BITC business analyst, Ms Keletso Karbly said export readiness required total commitment to offer the right product to the market, adding that business owners should have the production capacity to meet increased market demand for their products.

Ms Karbly also advised entrepreneurs to register with Botswana Unified Revenue Services in order to become exporters.

She also appraised them on the Botswana Exporter Development Programme, which aims to raise export awareness, build the capacity of export-ready companies to comply with export procedures and market requirements and link companies with foreign buyers.

The programme, she said targeted exporter and buyer clusters to broaden the export base for small producers because on their own they would not be able to meet the requirements of the export markets.

The participants were also informed about the ‘PushaBW’ initiative, which intended to encourage uptake of locally produced goods and services by retailers.

Ms Ponalo Tumelo from BITC revealed that the initiative was not doing well as there was lack of understanding of the listing requirements and expectations. 

Some retailers, she said, decried that quality of products was not satisfactory and called on entrepreneurs to improve on the packaging aspect, which she said was key to attracting customers.

In order to grow and diversify the economy, Ms Tumelo said local products should be competitive.

Another presenter from Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), Mr Peter Mpete concurred that quality was key in protecting customers and urged entrepreneurs not only to focus on making profit, but prioritise quality of their products and services.

Customers, he said, wanted value for their money, hence it was critical to follow quality standards to produce quality products.

He urged entrepreneurs to maintain standards from BOBS as nowadays customers demand quality-approved products and services.

Mr Mpete further noted that non-compliance to standards, limited companies from accessing better markets, noting that standards had become vehicles by which business profitability and sustainability was achieved if properly implemented.

He also urged entrepreneurs to work as a team in order to take their businesses to greater heights, noting that through team work, they could support one another. 

Market research, he said, was also paramount for the business to flourish. ENDs

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : MAUN

Event : Botswana Investment and Trade Centre workshop

Date : 16 May 2023