BIUST, LEA promote entrepreneurship

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 27 November 2018   |   By Professor Otlogetswe Totolo
Prof Totolo [L] with Dr Moatshe Prof Totolo [L] with Dr Moatshe

We are gathered here to witness a milestone in our shared journey of collaboration between public institutions. BIUST is a research-intensive University and the only specialized higher learning institution in our country. LEA is a wholly owned Government company specifically incorporated to develop entrepreneurial skills, assist entrepreneurs and diversify Botswana’s economy through various forms of entrepreneurships.

Both BIUST and LEA intend to leapfrog our country to a knowledge-based nation with knowledge, skills, products and services that make life better for our people and that contribute to our nation’s wealth and wellbeing.  Therefore, BIUST and LEA complement one another. Our synergies are our strengths and our collaboration is our reason for the huge investment that our people have made in us.  I am very happy to witness this event of the signing of the MoU between BIUST and LEA. This MoU cements the collaboration that both BIUST and LEA seek to have.

Through this MoU, both BIUST and LEA seek to deepen our commitment to each other and to strengthen our core missions of research and innovation and application. In fact through this MoU we will be collaborating in the following specific areas:  Facilitating placement and attachments of BIUST students with LEA assisted small, medium and micro enterprises; Identifying and delivering appropriate entrepreneurship and skills training for potential entrepreneurs at BIUST; Facilitating the sharing of BIUST/LEA equipment, workshops and machinery; Selecting graduates from BIUST and developing them through various programs; and Facilitating the conduct of entrepreneurship awareness campaigns through joint seminars and workshops for BIUST students, among others.

Both our entities are committed to seeing that we achieve the tenors of this MoU. We are also happy to note that the Government, which is our common principal, blesses this cooperation and in fact encourages it actively so that we can complement each other and avoid resources usage duplications.

I want to emphasize our mutual desire to push the boundaries of research and innovation and application to their fullest lengths and to work tirelessly in ensuring that we achieve that what our people expect from both of us.

*Prof O. Totolo is the Vice Chancellor of BIUST

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Post MOU signing

*Dr Racious Moatshe

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Implementation and operationalization of the MOU is paramount, and it must take off immediately. The success of this collaboration will be measured by the impact realized on the ground.  LEA and BIUST Team, from today show in the implementation plan the quick wins out of this partnership, the medium and long term projects; indicate the deliverables, timelines and resources that will be needed to carry out activities that will be driving our collaboration.

Devise robust monitoring and evaluation tools to constantly assess performance and value addition of initiatives as well as their relevance and impact on the target market we set out to serve.

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This nation needs strategic alliances such as this one, where institutions work together to complement each other’s mandate, and collectively facilitate impactful initiatives. In our case, we endeavour to transform and link entrepreneurship with technology and innovation, thereby igniting innovative solutions that can stay competitive and sustainable in the market.

Ladies and Gentlemen opportunities are endless, the world over innovation and technology are main channels through which economies grow and thrive.  Countries like China, Singapore and even in the third world- Rwanda, are good examples to emulate and customise solutions to suit our needs here in Botswana. Let us as LEA and BIUST lead Botswana in this regard. Our Government and indeed the SMMEs that we are mandated to serve do expect this from us.

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I am confident that the Team is capable of driving projects borne out of this collaboration, that will to a greater extent go a long way in achieving real growth of entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas were conceptualised here at BIUST, and commercialised into businesses by the Local Enterprise Authority.

LEA is very greatful for having partnered with BIUST. The very first day that we came here to discuss possibility of working together, we experienced high positive energy from you and your Team, and the enthusiasm further motivated the technical committee to exert even more in brainstorming this alliance.

*Dr Moatshe is the Local Enterprise Authority Chief Executive Officer

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Scope of MOU

The Participants have jointly decided that they will cooperate in the following areas:

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1. facilitating the placement and attachment of final year students under BIUST with LEA assisted Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs);

2. identifying and delivering appropriate entrepreneurship and skills training for potential entrepreneurs at BIUST;

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3. facilitating the sharing of the Participants’ equipment, workshops and machinery;

4. developing and evaluating best practices in entrepreneurship and SMME development, innovation and small business management;

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5. conducting needs assessment for the programmes jointly conducted, amongst others, the inculcation of entrepreneurship amongst BIUST students;

6. facilitating the transfer of business and technology skills to SMMEs and BIUST students;

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7. selecting graduates from BIUST and developing them through various programmes;

8. facilitating the conduct of entrepreneurship awareness campaigns through joint seminars and/or workshops for students at BIUST;

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LEA Responsibilities

1. Identify potential entrepreneurs with bankable business ideas for commercialisation and incubation, where they will be monitored and nurtured into competitive and sustainable businesses;

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2. Conduct regular awareness workshops for the BIUST students to encourage entrepreneurship;

3. Facilitate attachment of BIUST students with LEA assisted SMMEs during vacations;

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4. Facilitate the utilisation of equipment, facilities such as laboratories and machinery;

5. Share with BIUST relevant research findings to enhance this partnership;

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6. Identify and facilitate the implementation of projects of mutual benefit from time to time.

BIUST Responsibilities

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1. Recommend potential entrepreneurs with bankable business ideas for commercialisation enrolment in the LEA incubation programme;

2. Recommend potential entrepreneurs with business ideas for assistance with business support advisory services, which include among others; development of business plans, marketing and monitoring services;

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3. facilitate tailor made courses that promote entrepreneurship;

4. Avail facilities such as laboratories for soil testing by SMMEs;

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5. Share with LEA relevant research findings to enhance this partnership;

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6. identify and facilitate the implementation of projects of mutual benefit from time to time.