The first edition of Procurement and Enterprise Development Pitso that is strategically designed to bring together seasoned professional experts in the local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) space is set take place on September 17.
Organised by Entrez and sponsored by Barclays Bank of Botswana, the one-day conference is meant to create dialogue around SME development, sustainable procurement amongst others.
Briefing the media on the Pitso on Thursday, Public Relations Officer at Entrez, Tshiamo Thapa, said the event comes at crucial time when the SMEs need support for them to grow.
According to Thapa, the Procurement and Enterprise Development Pitso serves a key role in bridging the procurement gap in the market as mostly the SMEs are often left in the dark.
“The SMEs are the backbone of many world economies hence there is a strong need to support the sector in all aspects. The Pitso as it brings together the SMEs and potential corporate buyers in one roof brings in a lot of advantage in terms of grabbing market prospects,” Thapa echoed.
The core essence of the Pitso is to open dialogue with procurement managers of giant retailers and multinational corporations expected to share specific available opportunities for local SMEs to take advantage of within their organisations.
The Pitso will be facilitated under the theme “Unleashing the power of procurement to create access and the opportunity for SMEs to drive inclusive growth”.
Kushata Chilisa, Barclays’ Head of Enterprise and Supply Chain Development Centre (ESD), said Barclays supports the Pitso as it is keen on SMEs development.
The bank established the ESD centre specifically to assist the SMEs to overcome the daily challenges they encounter such as lack of market access and lack of funds amongst others.
“Government has closed borders in importing commodities such as bread and water so as to reduce the import bill and the platform of this magnitude opens doors for them to interact with corporate companies that need such services. We are more proud to support the Pitso,” she said.
Another organiser of the Pitso, Mmoloki Thapa said funds permitting they intend to make the Pitso an annual event; adding that they have tried to reach wider variety of SMEs countrywide.
He said their focus is also to come up with a number of initiatives that are important to SMEs by collaborating with organisations such as Entrepreneurs Association to formulate plans.