Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Day 2020 “COVID-19: The Great Lockdown and its Impact on Small Business”

July 2, 2020



Message from the UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Jacinta Barrins, on UN MSMEs Day: 27 June 2020

This year on this special United Nations (UN) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Day, we recognize and celebrate the important role that MSMEs play in our world today in creating decent jobs and improving livelihoods even during such a period, of the COVID19 pandemic. MSMEs across the world been identified as a major driver of poverty alleviation and development. They tend to employ a larger share of workforce sectors, such as; women, youth and people from poorer households. These groups remain vulnerable during, and beyond, COVID-19. As such, MSMEs should be the main catalysts, for income distribution in developing economies.

UNDP has  supported the developed on MSMEs  for example  we have assisted Business Botswana to develop and operate a Market Intelligence Information System (MIIS) that provides information about investment and business opportunities for SMEs in Botswana and we supported  them to develop a Covid -19, Private Sector Recovery Plan  to Build Back Better, with the private sector acting as its own driving force.  They were also supported with a Members’ Complaints Management System.  Currently an Informal Sector Recovery Plan is being developed with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry (MITI) which provides opportunities for MSMEs to grow.

UNDP’s Business Supplier Development Programme (SDP) has facilitated SMEs since 2019 to access affordable finance through preferential terms and conditions offered by partner banks.  The SDP brings into partnership 3 key players, namely: Buyers, Suppliers and specially trained and certified SDP consultants. UNDP invites Buyers to buy from Suppliers   and when this partnership is formed UNDP assigns a trained consultant, over several months, to work with the Suppliers to provide the products required by the Buyers.  The sustained mentoring by the consultant of the Suppliers has proven to be the key of success. The SDP supported their Suppliers to remain operational throughout Covid -19 . They were helped to gain access to the relevant benefits, in line with Government’s ‘Guidelines for Covid-19 Pandemic Relief Fund’. We are also supporting SMEs to grow through our many environment projects in many districts.

I say to all MSMEs, in Botswana, you are essential to the economy! May you continue to grow!

Pula! Pula! Pula!