Business Incubation Program

The Local Enterprise Authority took a deliberate decision to embark on the development of small businesses through the incubation program. In July 2007 the Local Enterprise Authority appointed consultants to develop an operational model for the prospective LEA business incubators. This model took into account the existing opportunities to convert existing Estate Centers from the former IFS into small business centers that SMMEs can use to grow their enterprises through the assistance of LEA advanced business development services.

Business Incubation

The concept of business incubation as a general rule refers to the practice of providing low-cost, property based facilities and shared services to nurture the development of new firms. LEA business incubators provide –on a temporary basis- shared premises, capital equipment, business and technical services, as well as access to finance, including venture capital and business herald network.

The modeling of the incubator program is tailored on the premise of agreed priority sectors in Botswana and forms part of entrepreneurial centers focused on development of skills necessary and the creation of an enabling environment for accelerated growth of businesses. This focus targets sectors with high growth potential.

LEA has five incubators namely;

  • Pilane Multi sector Incubator (2009),
  • Leather Industries Incubator (2010),
  • Francistown Industrial Business Incubator (2011)
  • Glen Valley Horticulture Incubator (2011)
  • Kutla Incubation Centre (2017)

Gaborone Leather Incubator

The starting sector with potential is the down-stream leather industry which culminated into the creation of the Leather Industry Incubator based in Gaborone. This incubator was set up to strengthen the leather industry in Botswana. New enterprises currently include upholstery, shoe manufacture and other leather products.

Gaborone Leather Incubator provides:

  • Courses for the Leather sector available to anyone on:-
  • Design
  • Cutting
  • Stitching
  • Lasting and Finishing
  • LEA also provides Incubation for clients at :-
  • Subsidized rates
  • Shared facilities
  • Technology and business coaching
  • Two years incubation period
  • Materials bulk purchasing facility to be launched next year

Pilane Multi-sector Incubator

Next area with potential was the Pilane Multi-sector Incubator which attracted a broad range of local companies including food processing, household chemicals manufacturing, etc.

Pilane Multi-sector Incubator provides;

  • Focus on Food Processing and Manufacturing
  • Subsidized rates
  • Two years incubation period
  • Technology and business coaching

Francistown Industrial Business Incubator

The third is the Francistown Light Industrial Business Incubator which houses a wide range of businesses which include manufacture of industrial products, among them steel works, furniture, textile, packaging, etc.

Francistown Industrial Business Incubator provides;

  • Focus on mining related products such as nuts, bolts and other metal works
  • Other blocks to service Textile (Protective clothing), Carpentry.
  • Subsidized rates
  • Materials bulk purchasing facility
  • Two years incubation period
  • Technology and business coaching

Glen Valley Horticulture Incubator

The fourth Incubator is the Glenvalley Horticulture Incubator which is based in Gaborone with the prime intention of introducing innovative approaches to ensure increased horticulture production through modern technologies and improved farming practices. This approach ensures sustained transfer of technology and is targeted towards reduction of imports. This incubator intends to grow high value, high demand, high yield crops under controlled environment using treated waste water. Currently only tomatoes are grown in the Glenvalley due to their off-season high demand. Production structures include tunnels using passive ventilation, Green houses with controlled environment and Shade net with anti-virus, insect proof nets.

Glen Valley Horticulture Incubator provides;

  • LEA provides inputs
  • LEA provides space
  • LEA provides training and Technical support
  • Client produces tomatoes
  • LEA and client market and sells products
  • Nine months incubation period (one cropping cycle)

Kutla Incubation Centre

The Kutla Incubation Centre was introduced to bridge technology gap in machine operation, manufacturing/production process and business advisory services. The Centre is located in Gaborone along the Nkrumah Road with the aim to address lack of entrepreneurial skills amongst the out of school youth and the disadvantaged groups in the society. This incubator is piloting training on general, technical and business aspects in different manufacturing plants. The facility was set up to house 12 projects but currently operating seven (7) manufacturing plants namely: toilet roll manufacturing, confectionary making (biscuit, cookies/bread making), sunflower oil extraction, liquid detergent making, packaging solutions (granules and powder), socks knitting and ice cream cone manufacturing.

Kutla Incubation Centre provides shared resources such as;
•    LEA provides space
•    LEA provides equipment/machinery
•    LEA provides Technology and Business Coaching
•    LEA provides Training and Technical support
•    Hands-on incubation period of three (3) months