The SME sector is in dire need of new funding models to unlock growth in the sector, with traditional lenders and DFIs struggling to address challenges. Photo: Pixabay
INTERNATIONAL - Barclays Bank of Botswana said the small to medium scale enterprises are critical to the nation's economic activities and employment needs.

Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane, Barclays Bank of Botswana Managing Director on Wednesday said the SME sector has proved to be an important driver of economic growth and employment creation across the world.

"In Botswana, research has shown that nearly 90% of all registered businesses are SMEs and employ over 300,000 people both formally and informally," said Pheko-Moshagane at the annual Procurement and Enterprise Development Conference in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana.

She said the bank acknowledges and recognize the robust efforts made by the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry through initiatives such as the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD), geared towards supporting local businesses.

"We have seen some notable results in horticulture, bottled water and food products such as bread just to mention a few." she said. Pheko-Moshagane challenged the private sector to interrogate its supply chain and procurement policies and align them to the national citizen economic empowerment policy.

"As the private sector we play a vital role in ensuring that our SMEs thrive and grow into large corporates that can create the much needed employment and further showcase the resilience of local suppliers and capabilities."she said.