Market Access: A Growth Opportunity for SMMEs
One of the key functions of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) is to secure markets both regionally and globally for the local SMME enterprises. The growth, profitability and sustainability of the enterprises depend solely on the marketability and competitiveness of the products and services in the market place. The achievement of these will lead to the realization of the high-level outcome of economic diversification which is at the center of the LEA mandate. LEA, therefore seeks to facilitate the positioning of SMMEs such that they are able to harness the opportunities brought about by globalization.
This involves the advocating for the creation of a friendly business environment that is supportive to SMMEs which target international markets for their products. SMMEs should, as a matter of urgency address the issue of product quality as it differs from one customer and market to another. It is critical for SMMEs to seek certification of their products for quality assurance since this is first major requirements of most markets. LEA is working with the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), a national quality assurance statutory authority on quality standards to facilitate the certification of SMMEs products and services. The LEA Market Access Master Plan, which forms part of the organizational high-level strategy, is seeking to provide growth impetus to the local SMME enterprises by pointing them to emerging markets world-wide. This Market Access Master Plan centers around five high-level outcomes below.
To facilitate the creation of a conducive SMME policy and regulatory environment;
To facilitate access to government, local authorities and large corporations contracts;
To facilitate increase in exports by LEA supported SMMEs;
To facilitate horizontal and vertical business linkages
To catalyse SMME growth, both numerically and size of operation.
LEA is resolute about continuously increasing level of quality education and awareness among the local SMME communities. This outreach programme must reach LEA supported SMMEs throughout the country.