The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) was established by the Small Business Act, Number 7 of 2004 as a Statutory Authority of the Government of Botswana. The Authority is guided by a Board of Directors drawn from both the Private sector and the Public sector, and headed by a Chief Executive Officer.
LEA is a co-ordinated and focused one-stop shop Authority that provides development and support services to the local industry needs of SMMEs, encompassing training, mentoring, business plan finalisation, market access facilitation, and facilitation of technology adaptation and adoption.
In pursuit of economic diversification the LEA's Mission is to promote and facilitate entrepreneurship and enterprise development in Botswana through targeted interventions. The Authority's Vision is therefore to be the centre of excellence for entrepreneurship and sustainable SMME sector development in the Botswana.
The Authority's key sectors are manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, and any services that support the three business sectors. In particular, LEA targets women, youth, and the unemployed. Part of the strategy is to encourage businesses to use locally available natural resources and raw materials, within the identified sectors above. Also the Authority endeavors to build competencies in quality and efficiency, and to encourage import substitution and export oriented products and services.
In order to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship and enterprise in Botswana, LEA offers highly specialized development and support services which include but are not limited to the following:
- Facilitation of business planning;
- Providing training, mentoring and advisory services;
- Identifying business opportunities for existing and future SMMEs;
- Promoting domestic and international linkages;
- Facilitating access to markets
- Facilitating exploitation of government and large firms' procurement opportunities by SMMEs;
- Facilitating access to finance;
- Facilitating technology adoption and diffusion;
- Promoting general entrepreneurship and SMME awareness.
LEA does not provide finance to entrepreneurs. However the Authority facilitates access to finance as well as provide support services to SMMEs, before and after funding. Efforts continue to be made by the Authority to engage various stakeholders in the Financial Services industry, including commercial banks, to work together in the development and support of the SMME sector in the country.
The Authority has country-wide office presence with thirteen (13) branches in Botswana. The highly specialized quality of service is standardized in all the branches and clients are therefore guaranteed excellent service in the entire LEA branches regardless of the location. The thirteen branches are in Gaborone, Francistown, Selebi-Phikwe, Serowe, Molepolole, Mochudi, Maun, Masunga, Kasane, Ghanzi, Tsabong, Ramotswa, and Kanye.
The Authority also offers a CALL CENTRE for clients' convenience and this centre can be reached freely at number 0800 155 155.