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What do CupcakeVille, White Angels, Sunrise, Ratoccs Farms, Lejwehill Group, PSS Steel Fabricators, Three Lions, Polycats Investments, Line Feed and Gasa Engineering & Mining Services have in common? These 10 and other 34 Botswana citizen-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have all benefitted from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) flagship Business Supplier Development Programme (SDP).  The UNDP SDP was rolled out in earnest in March 2019 bringing together three partners: Suppliers – local citizen-owned SMEs, Buyers - large local and regional companies and local SDP trained Consultants to ensure that SMEs were mentored to grow and remain sustainable. 

“The success of the SDP, to date, is derived from this strong partnership” says Ms Jacinta Barrins, UNDP Resident Representative. 

The consultants’ ability to mentor the SMEs, on every aspect of their business, over a 10month period, to ensure the quality required by the Buyers were met, has proven to be an essential ingredient for the success of the SDP. Notwithstanding, the SDP would not have been possible without the great collaboration, and willingness, of the Buyers, to buy locally from the SMEs.  UNDP is eternally grateful to all the Buyers who remained steadfast in their support right from the beginning. Their desire to grow the local economy has paid off as evident from the many success stories of some of these SMEs below. The Buyers provided a ready- made market for the SMEs. Furthermore, profound credit goes to the SME leaders who were determined, from the start, for their entities to benefit from the hands-on mentoring support and the markets provided through SDP.  Their vision was, and continues to be, clear. They wanted to grow their business, be competitive, improve their standards, diversify their products and of course improve their profits. Their hard work paid off.

“Covid-19 has not been a deterrent, in fact, we increased our efforts, through targeted interventions, as did the Consultants and Buyers so that the SMEs could stay afloat” Jacinta further shares. She went on to add “every week, we are seeing more and more successful results, which is very encouraging. Therefore, we are planning to expand SDP in the coming year”.

Joseph Vusa, founder, and owner of Lejwehill in front of one of his vehicles ©/2020/Motswere

Supplier: Lejwehill Group (Pty) Ltd
Buyer: Lucara (Diamond Mine)
UNDP SDP Consultant: Mr Palalani Moitlhobogi 
Business area: Mining equipment, plant hire and civil construction
Owner: Joseph Vusa
Founded: 2017     
Location: Letlhakane Number of staff: 20 

Since Lejwehill joined the UNDP SDP, it has in one year, increased its turnover to the extent that it has been possible to buy new machinery and vehicles and employ new staff. 

Customer diversification: Through the UNDP SDP program, Lejwehill Group has been able to diversify its customer base to new sectors such as heavy power transmission lines, sports complex construction and general civil engineering contracts in the mining industry. 

Employment Creation: Has increased from 8 employees before joining UNDP SDP to now 20 employees. 

UNDP SDP Experience: “The Consultant built confidence and encouraged me to take every opportunity I got regardless of sector; mining or government sector. This has helped me to start thinking broader and to look into other market segments. It was also valuable to get advice on how to develop a proper market strategy, how to analyze the status of my company and how to deal with threats” says Joseph.

Gorata Chimoli and her partner Kealeboga Ponoesele sitting outside the bakery. ©/2020/Ekman

Supplier: CupcakeVille (Pty) Ltd

Buyer: Grand Palm Hotel

UNDP SDP Consultant: Mr Michael Dikoloti 

Business area: Bakery Owner: Ms Gorata Chimoli 

Founded: 2014  

Location: Gaborone Number of staff: 6

Since CupcakeVille joined the UNDP SDP, CupcakeVille  has increased its turnover enough to be able to buy a refrigerated delivery truck.

Product Diversification: Before joining UNDP SDP, CupcakeVille made cakes, cupcakes, and biscuits. It has since expanded to making bread, bread rolls and burger buns. 

Employment Creation: Has increased from 4 employees before joining UNDP SDP to now 6 employees. 

UNDP SDP Experience: “The UNDP SDP has instilled hope and confidence in us. Just knowing that our work is recognized by a big Buyer is enough motivation for us to explore more and push beyond our limitations”, says Gorata Chimoli.

Founder and owner Kagiso Johane ©/2019/Gareebine

Supplier:  Ratoccs Farms

Buyer: National Agro Processing Plant (NAPro)

UNDP SDP Consultant: Mr Daniel Gareebine

Brand name: RatoccsFarms

Business area: Horticulture

Owner: Ms Kagiso Johane Founded: 2009     

Location: Ditladi farmlands along the Shashe riverbank, Tonota Number of staff: 8 

Since Ratoccs Farms joined UNDP SDP, it has in one year increased its turnover with around 4 per cent. Ratoccs Farms supplies to the National Agro Processing Plant (NAPro), and other buyers, have increased with almost 645 per cent during the same period. 

Product Diversification: Ratoccs Farms has been able to diversify from 5 to 8 vegetables and is in the process of adding an additional 3 vegetables in the coming months.  

UNDP SDP Experience: The farm has been debushed and water-connected. This has increased the land cultivation area from 4,5 hectares to 6 hectares. The remaining 0,5 hectare will be used to raise chickens. The construction of a ring wall around the river basin water extraction point has been completed and three out of four damaged tunnels have been repaired and are in use. A farm technology, and infrastructure improvement plan has been developed and a business plan, for funding expansion is currently being

Reuben Chipuka is operating a pvc welding machine. ©/2020/Kaone

Supplier: Three Lions (Pty) Ltd

Buyer: Khoemacau (Copper Mine)

UNDP SDP Consultant: Ms Thembi Gumede-Moses

Business area: Protective clothing and Equipment for the mining and tourism sectors

Founded: 2014

Owner: Steven Huebsch

Managing Director: Reuben Chipuka

Number of staff: 10

Location: Maun Supplier to: Khoemacau Copper Mining

Since THREE LIONS   joined UNDP SDP, it has in one year increased its turnover by 10 per cent. This has made it possible to expand the business and double the number of staff. 

Market diversification: THREE LIONS has been able to expand its business to supply Khoemacau mine and its contractors.

Employment creation: Has increased from 5 employees before joining UNDP SDP to now 10 employees.

UNDP SDP Experience: UNDP SDP paved the way and helped THREE LIONS to establish business contacts that the company had not been able to establish on its own. Before UNDP SDP, the company focused on the tourism sector for years but with the business coaching and advise from the Consultant it was possible to diversify the business to the mining sector. The new market segment has contributed 90 per cent to the sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kuchi handing over a Covid-19 donation to people being quarantined in the hotels. ©/2020/Obonetse

Supplier: Sunrise (Pty) Ltd

Buyer: Cresta Group of Hotels

UNDP SDP Consultant: Ms Neo Pheko 

Business area: Bottled water production

Brand name: Agua Pure Water

Owner: Mr Kunaal Jinabhai, known as DJ Kuchi

Founded: 2006   

Location: Kweneng

Number of staff: 27  

Since Sunrise joined UNDP SDP, it has benefitted from the rates agreed in a MOU signed between UNDP and Stanbic Bank, and also gained access to business expansion funding, which will allow further development of the company. 

Market Diversification: Before joining UNDP SDP, Sunrise only focused on its core business. It has since started to explore a new business area. The new funding will help them to develop its new market segment.

UNDP SDP Experience: The SDP Consultant has supported Sunrise to improve all its business processes and to establish a partnership with Stanbic Bank, as well as guided the company to expand and broaden its business. 

Reuben Seoke, owner of Line Feed outside one of the shops ©/2020/Mogwe

Supplier; Line Feed (Pty) Ltd

Buyer: Morupule (Coal Mine)

UNDP SDP Consultant: Mr Tumisang Mogwe 

Business area: Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Founded: 2002

Owner: Reuben Seoke   

Location: Francistown

Supplier to: Morupule Coal Mine

Number of staff: 68 

Since Line Feed joined UNDP SDP, it has sustained its business though covid-19 and even found new business opportunities through UNDP SDP, including supplying facemasks to various entities such as Morupule Coal Mine. All in all, this has resulted in an increased turnover.  Market/product diversification: 

The UNDP SDP has assisted Line Feed to expand its range of products and to increase its sales to existing clients and to new clients. The new clients include Botswana Police services and local Councils around the Northern region. The new products include face masks and storage sacks for the mines.

UNDP SDP Experience: UNDP SDP has given new insights about existing clients, supported the introduction of new products, found new business opportunities, and supported the development of a business strategy. Through the SDP consultants, the company has been able to address project delivery issues. In addition, Line Feed has also been able to access funding through the special rates UNDP SDP have negotiated with Banks.

The owner Shane Nakedi ©/2020/Lekoba

Supplier: Polycats Investments (Pty) Ltd 

Buyer: Lucara (Diamond Mine)

UNDP SDP Consultant: Mr Percy Lekoba 

Business area: Electrical, mechanical services, labor hire

Owner: Shane Nakedi

Founded: 2010

Location: Palapye

Number of staff: 12

Since Polycats Investments joined UNDP SDP, it has in one year, increased its turnover enough to make an investment in a property in Letlhakane.

Market diversification: Polycats Investments is focused on providing services in the mines, as a contractor and as a sub-contractor. 

Polycats Investments also got involved in decontamination type projects to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Driven by the demand for office space, the increased turnover made it possible to move into a bigger premise.

Employment creation: Has increased from 4 employees before joining UNDP SDP to now 12 employees.

UNDP SDP Experience: The SDP through the guidance and support of the Consultant, developed a far - reaching market expansion strategy. The UNDP SDP intervention has also played a big role in the company’s growth and helped with improving many of the internal processes.  

Supplier: White Angels (Pty) Ltd

Buyer: Grand Palm Hotel

UNDP SDP Consultant: Mr Michael Dikoloti

Business Area: Diary 

Brand name: Dream Flavours

Owner: Ms Chedza Nkhwa, Ms Litah Malejane, Ms Margaret Kgosi

Founded: 2008     

Location: Molepolole

Number of staff: 10

Since White Angels joined UNDP SDP, it has signed a deal to supply one of the largest supermarket chains in the country. Plans are at an advanced stage to move into a new sector.

Market diversification: Before joining UNDP SDP, White Angels focused more than 90 per cent on the hotel sector. It has since expanded its presence in the retail sector and is moving into a new sector (health). 

UNDP SDP Experience: “The UNDP SDP helped us understand the importance of not putting all our eggs in the same basket and helped us to build up new market opportunities. says Litha Malejane. 

Supplier: Gasa Engineering & Mining Services (Pty) Ltd

Buyer: Botash (Soda Ash Mine)

UNDP SDP Consultant: Mr Zuma Chengeta

Business area: Logistics/ haulage, mining structures and engineering

Owner: Oliver Salani

Founded: 2009

Location: Francistown

Number of staff: 25 Buyer: Botash

Since Gasa Engineering & Mining Services joined UNDP SDP, it has got a big order, which has made it possible to employ new staff. 

Market diversification: Gasa Engineering & Mining Services has been able to expand its current market segment through a big new order. 

Employment creation: Has increased from 20 employees before joining UNDP SDP to now 25 employees.

UNDP SDP Experience: The company has seen a steady improvement of its business processes and systems. An improvement plan including operations, quality management and human resources has been developed which is supporting the company to grow.

Supplier: PSS STEEL Fabricators  (Pty) Ltd

Buyer: Morupule (Coal Mine)

UNDP SDP Consultant: Mr Morulaganyi Masalila

Business area: Structural steel fabrication, welder work, plant maintenance

Owner: Pitlagano Sylvester Seremeng

Founded: 1993  

Location: Palapye Number of staff: 5

Since PSS STEEL Fabricators 

joined UNDP SDP, it has supported PSS STEEL Fabricators to stay afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic and changed its outlook and chances to grow bigger. 

Market diversification: Currently, PSS STEEL Fabricators is in the process of expanding its existing market segment. 

Number of staff: 5

UNDP SDP Experience: Thanks to the programme, the company now has a very good procurement and financial management system in place. The SDP also helped with other aspects of the business which has set the foundation for the business to grow.

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