- Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) and Letshego Botswana have joined forces to support Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) and drive Citizen Economic Empowerment.
- Through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, Morupule Coal Mine’s contract suppliers now have the opportunity to access affordable funding through the commitment of a P2.2 Billion ($165M) facility by Letshego Botswana over a 5-year period.
- Letshego Botswana and Morupule Coal Mine have pledged to hive off contracts, provide ongoing financial support, and empower these entrepreneurs, giving them the potential to scale up their operations.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Morupule Coal Mine and Letshego Botswana underpins the commitment of the partners to empower and unlock the potential of Micro and Small Entrepreneurs to gain access to the capital required for participating in and successfully completing projects competitively within agreed timelines.
MSEs face significant financial challenges, including a low appetite in the market to fund businesses that are still in their infancy, weak cash flow positions, and a lack of collateral security. According to the World Bank, SMEs make up 35 per cent of the GDP and contribute 75 per cent to formal sector employment, making them significant contributors to national economic development in Botswana.
Morupule Coal Mine, the state owned 50 year coal miner and Letshego Botswana, a home grown lender signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will enable Morupule contract suppliers the unique opportunity to access affordable funding through the commitment of a P2.2 Billion ($165 million) facility by Letshego over a period of five years.
“As we take on the global realm of the energy sector as a sustainably profitable business, delivering value to our stakeholders is at the heart of why we exist and what we do. Beyond our employee value propositions, we have been intentional in setting up our Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme that speaks to our citizen-owned business partners,” said Morupule Coal Mine Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Edwin Elias.
Letshego Botswana’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Letso Gaborekwe said, “It is always great news when a small business secures a lucrative order. However, most Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) do not have adequate liquidity to fulfil large orders, especially when there are multiple orders on the table. Almost every month, high working capital requirements are an inherent issue that haunts most small business owners. Despite this, Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) are truly a credible engine of entrepreneurial growth, employment creation and economic development and at Letshego, we pride ourselves in being their ideal financial services partner to help drive that growth.”
By financially supporting Micro and Small Entrepreneurs, the strategic partners are contributing to sustainable livelihoods through Citizen Economic Empowerment, which remains core to key national agendas of job creation, citizen economic inclusion, and economic diversification. Citizen Economic Empowerment is essential for the much-needed change of economic transformation that needs to be driven in Botswana.
The Letshego partnership brings Morupule Citizen Economic Empowerment Program funding commitments to over P5.2 billion.
Access Bank has pledged P1.2 billion, while Stanbic Bank, FNB and ABSA have each set aside P500 million , with TICANO coming at P250 million. Bank Gaborone has come forth with P100 million.
Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) and Absa Bank Botswana in their shared commitment to drive socio-economic development in Botswana through Citizen Economic Empowerment; signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in November last year. Affording, citizen-owned MCM Business Partners, an opportunity to access funding through a P500 Million pledge by the Bank.
As part of the Bank’s commitment to improving the long-term sustainability of SMEs, the Enterprise and Supply Chain Development (ESD) programme also offered to provide capacity building to SMEs.
This includes support through mentoring, coaching, training, and expert support. Moreover, SMEs have access and usage of the ESD Centre’s meeting rooms, workstations, internet, and office equipment such as photocopiers, telephones, and fax machines, which the Bank hopes will ensure that SMEs have the requisite basic infrastructure and needs to operate day to day.
“In recognising the role those local businesses play at Absa Bank Botswana, enterprise development is one of our top priorities. As part of our Citizenship agenda, we remain committed to helping local businesses find a way to get things done by strengthening the skills, capabilities and processes that support them. We have funded over half a billion worth of assets to SMEs within the mining and retail industry value chains. This has led to over 1000 jobs directly created through the SMEs funded. Moreover, we have actively contributed to training 3,300 SMEs through various trainings provided. We look forward to the opportunities that our partnership with Morupule Coal Mine brings to the SME industry. We remain committed and steadfast in taking big and purposeful actions to support their growth.” said Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane, Managing Director, Absa Bank Botswana Limited