What is UN MSMEs Day?
In 2017, a resolution, in recognition of the important role that Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) play, was adopted by the UN General Assembly to declare the 27 June as the UN MSMEs Day. Today on this special UN MSMEs Day, we recognize and celebrate the important role that MSMEs play in our world today to alleviate poverty, create decent job and wealth, and promote sustainable development in developing economies.

What is the UN MSMEs Day Theme in 2019?
The MSME Day 2019 theme is ‘Big Money for Small Businesses’. The theme recognizes that if businesses don’t have effective and ready channels to access finance, for both start up and expansion then their growth and development is unlikely, thus impacting considerably on poverty alleviation, decent job and wealth creation and sustainable development in developing economies. Ultimately, this will hinder the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals in these economies and Botswana is no exception to this reality.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Support towards the Development of MSMEs in the Country;

Revised Economic Diversification Drive Strategy: Support to the Government of Botswana through MITI to develop a Strategy, its monitoring and evaluation framework and implementation action plan to help the country undertake sectoral economic diversification where Botswana has comparative and competitive advantages in. The role of MSMEs is very key for the effective implementation of this strategy.

Botswana Exporter Development Programme: Support to the Government of Botswana through the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre to develop a programme that will strengthen the capacities of exporters to leverage opportunities in local, regional and global export markets. Again, MSMEs have an important role to play in implementing this programme.

Regulatory Impact Assessment/Better Regulatory Strategy: Supporting the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) to establish a system for regulatory impact assessment (RIA), to enhance the efficiency of doing business in Botswana

Business Botswana Six Years Strategic Plan (2018-2023): Support in developing their strategic plan which is meant to position Business Botswana, and the private sector, to play a more lead role in generating inclusive growth and sustainability development for all Batswana.

Voluntary Sustainability Principles for the Private Sector: Botswana Stock Exchange-listed Domestic Companies: A study commissioned to provide baseline information on sustainability practices among companies and helped to identify issues to focus on with the private sector on sustainability and the SDGs. The findings also informed the development of sustainability principles that listed companies can adopt and mainstream in their business practices.

Supplier Development Programme (SDP): We are especially pleased to be supporting SMEs through a new initiative called the Business Supplier Development Programme (SDP) which brings into partnership 3 key players (pillars); existing Suppliers are developed, in line with the Buyers’ requirements, using the supplier development methodology (SDM) which is implemented by certified SDM local Consultants. The overall objective of the SDP is to have more profitable businesses that can create more jobs and to facilitate access to market for their products hence incorporating, within their business model, sustainability

In conclusion, and in line with theme of this year’s MSME Day, we would like to call on all relevant stakeholders to jointly work together to design access to financing strategies and programmes that will help facilitate the smooth operations of MSMEs, so they can continue to play the important role of job and wealth creation, poverty eradication, resilience building and overall contribution to inclusive growth and sustainable development and the realisation of the SDGs in Botswana.

As the United Nations, we will continue to support the development aspirations of the Government and people of Botswana through our effective support and development of SMMEs sector in the country. Let me end by wishing the people of Botswana well and acknowledge the great potential of the MSMEs sector in Botswana.

Pula! Pula! Pula!

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