The Private Business Growth Awards – introduced four years ago by Grant Thornton in collaboration with Business Botswana – are the yardsticks that determine a company’s competitiveness.
Business Botswana Acting CEO Norman Moleele has urged every business to participate because the awards create role models in addition to setting standards.
Speaking at a press briefing this week to announce the 2018 edition of the awards, Moleele, accompanied by Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) Acting CEO, Keletsositse Olebile and Partner at Grant Thornton, Kalyanaraman Vijay, said for a company to have aspirations of expanding into the continent, it first has to establish itself at home.
Business Botswana has been part of the award since inception in 2015, and Moleele said they have been impressed by the growth of the award.
“The overall objective of Business Botswana has always been and remains to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector to continue tapping new markets and promoting sustainable development,” Moleele said, adding that it is important for Botswana business market to be outward focused as the local market is very small.
With employment creation being one of the pre-requisite for entry, Business Botswana leader explained that employment is at the core of the economic well-being and in the competitive world, the focus must be on economic growth, which will lead to employment and ultimately improve the social wellbeing of Botswana.
The objective, Moleele said it is to find the business that will stand the test of time.
Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) came on board to be part of the award last year. BITC Acting Chief Executive, Keletsositse Olebile said this has to do with their role which is to encourage domestic investment and expansion, promote locally manufactured goods to regional and international markets.
The role of BITC also involves contributing towards improvement of the investment climate through policy advocacy, increasing citizen participation in the economy and creating sustainable job opportunities for citizens.
BITC, which is the country’s lead Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (ITPA), needs to lead and actively show Botswana is a primary destination to do business in Africa, Olebile said. He said this can be achieved through recognising existing industries and businesses that have been there and done it.
The partnership with Grant Thornton and Business Botswana is a strategic one in the sense that it gives BITC an opportunity to leverage on this initiative which seeks to acknowledge and recognise the role played by the private sector in the mandate of BITC.
The private business growth award, Olebile said, is a platform where the Government of Botswana through Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) is able to demonstrate their commitment to supporting and enabling business growth, through the participation of the ministry during the awards ceremony.
As part of the awards, BITC will sponsor four categories, which include Investor of the year Award – Manufacturing, Investor of the Year Award – Services Sector, Investor Award – Expansions and Exporter of the Year.
For founder of the award, Grant Thornton the objective of the creation of these awards was to recognise and develop private entities in Botswana that are contributing to the growth of the private sector in the country.
Coordinators of the awards have introduced new developments which have simplified the whole process of participation – according to Vijay, Partner at Grant Thornton.
In order to encourage participation, the number of years of operation required for a company led by non-resident shareholders has been slashed from five to a minimum of three years. During the first year of the awards, Sprint Couriers emerged as the winner and the second year in which awards were divided into two categories saw Flotek winning the large size category while Nashua emerged as the winner of the small to medium sized category. The third edition of the awards was won by Security Systems and Hotwire for both categories.