Monday, 29 October 2018 09:30

CEDA moots establishment of SMME Bank

Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) is not retrenching staff, but instead has consolidated some units leading to internal staff movements in order to promote efficiency within the agency.Collections and Legal are some of the units that have been consolidated to ensure that the core function of collections is handled end to end by one department.

Strategy and Research functions were also consolidated into corporate planning in order to align with best practice in similar operations. It is said that the realignment has resulted in greater efficiencies with the agency exceeding target in the first half of the year.
The efficiency and good performance of the staff has led to the demands of the agency’s products. CEDA currently operates from nine branches across Botswana, and a further three Mobile Offices which provide roaming services.

Close sources had postulated that the government agency, which was set up to address the need for coherent and holistic support for the development of small, medium and large scale enterprises through the soft window and package offered through subsidiaries - would soon be retrenching as it is overstaffed.

Sources claimed that some members of the executive have been doing a national tour to inform CEDA staff about the looming retrenchments. The sources claim that the retrenchments follow the approval and the implementation of the CEDA 2018-2021 Strategy.
Allaying these fears CEDA Head of Marketing and Communications, Anno Tshipa explained that the staff movement is a result of the approval and implementation of the CEDA 2018-2021 Strategy.

Tshipa said the greater demand for the agency’s products and services has resulted in the agency working to open two branches in Letlhakane and Tsabong respectively. The Letlhakane branch will open in November 2018 while Tsabong will open in the first half of 2019.

Tshipa added that the agency has aggressively deployed three mobile offices to sell the popular microfinance product known as Mabogo Dinku, stating that as at 21st October 2018, the mobile offices had reached 80 villages across Botswana, with a goal of reaching 110 by end of the year. The Mobile Offices are fully equipped to provide all online services that are currently offered across all CEDA Offices.

When refuting allegations that CEDA is overstaffed and many employees are duplicating each other’s duties, Tshipa said while CEDA is mindful of staff costs, the current branches are optimally staffed to be self-sustaining, or being able to generate enough revenue to cover their expenses.

She revealed that the agency is currently reviewing its guidelines with a view to advising Government on the optimal model of service provision. The project to review guidelines is intended for completion in 2019, and without pre-empting recommendations, there will be greater focus on commercialisation, including establishment of an SMME Bank.

Over the past 10 years, CEDA has graduated 70 interns to permanent and pensionable positions within Operations, Information Technology, Collections, Finance and Marketing. Majority of the Interns came from the Government Internship Programme, while some were identified as Top Performers from their various institutions including Botswana Accountancy College and the University of Botswana.

Tshipa concluded that CEDA is committed to its staff welfare and has various initiatives to ensure that the agency remains the Employer of Choice including internal promotions, funding toward advanced degrees and general employee engagement. “The Agency has recently promoted from within a staff member to Head the upcoming Letlhakane Branch, and where skills are available, will always look within for senior position

Published in News

Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has funded 1200 youth enterprises for a total of P600 million to date, says Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Thamane.

Briefing the media on Tuesday, Thamane said out of the money disbursed, P326 million has funded Agribusiness projects, P187 million funded services projects while only P71 million funded property and manufacturing projects. 

He said over the years the agency has promoted entrepreneurship, job creation and youth empowerment through provision of funding, business advisory as well as training and mentoring services for new entrepreneurs. 

“We strongly believe that young people are not only key drivers of future prosperity but also vital untapped human resource,” said Thamane explaining further that since 2014, CEDA has provided training to 277 young entrepreneurs, out of which 188 were trained on procurement and business management, while 77 were trained on piggery production.

Thamane said the agency is concerned with project mismanagement especially the youth projects under Young Farmers’ Fund. He said about 20 percent of youth have abandoned their projects. “When we visit these projects we always realise that the parents have now taken over the projects and the youth are no longer involved in them. This might be an indication that parents use the youth to access funding, but we are dealing with the problem,” he said.

He said through its new Mabogo-Dinku product the agency has disbursed P4.5 million creating over 5000 jobs, mostly for women. The product offers loans to individuals who belong to self-help groups that support them in saving and loan repayment accountability and through surety at application stage. 

The loans range from P500 to P150 000 per person and are payable in a period of three to 12 months with repayment frequency ranging from weekly. CEDA has reserved P20 million for the product during 2017/18 financial year.

Thamane also highlighted that the agency has been able to generate income to support its operations. The agency receives government subvention each year to fund businesses. It also generates income in the form of interest and collection on loans already financed to augment government subvention. 

“Government has given CEDA grants amounting to P934.7 million over the last three years and the agency disbursed P1.19 billion in the same period,” said Thamane. CEDA has achieved a collection rate of 105 percent in the last financial year ending March 2017.  The set target for collection was P330 million and the actual collection amounted to P346 million.

Published in Business

Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) is looking forward to improve its systems and operations as it is expected to benchmark at the upcoming CEOs Forum for the World Federation of Development Financial Institutions (WFDFI) billed for next week.

The forum, which is on its third leg, will be hosted by CEDA in Gaborone from November 2nd until 4th. CEDA Chief Operations Officer (COO), Andrew Madeswi said while it is important for DFI’s to put in place sound corporate governance and risk management frameworks to ensure sound financial performance, they must never lose sight of their responsibility to the ordinary citizens. “We must expand access to financing and work hard to maximize impact and social outcomes,” he said.

The event themed “DFI’s sustaining relevance in the age of disruption,” will centre around ways, which the DFIs can adapt to changes in financial systems, policies as well as organizational and institutional frameworks.

It will also discuss ways in which DFIs adopt new technologies to improve operational efficiencies, risk management and service delivery. There will also be discussions on thoughts and insights by CEOs on sustaining the relevance of the DFIs going forward.

Quizzed on the lessons learnt from previous forums, Madeswi said the issues were mainly on environmental effects including how to contribute towards taking care of the environmental future. “We also realized that, the banking environment has been rapidly changing and we need to look at relevance of service in terms of technology platforms. As CEDA we have launched mobile offices to serve the clients across the country. These are engagements we continue to look at when we meet with our counterparts,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the forum is expected to attract about 300 delegates. It is understood that already over 150 international delegates have confirmed attendance while more are yet to confirm. In addition 100 delegates have already confirmed.

Published in News
Friday, 02 September 2016 12:06

CEDA's new finance product for SMMEs

Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency(CEDA) has introduced a simplified group funding to give opportunity to Small, Medium, Micro Enterprises to access funding without hassle.The new funding scheme named Mabogo-Dinku allows micro enterprises in a group of five to fifteen individuals in a group operating their own businesses to access funding.

Launching the scheme on Tuesday, CEDA Chief Executive, Thabo Thamane said unlike other CEDA products, the engagement and activities of this product follow clients where they have chosen to assemble according to their convenience without necessarily going to CEDA offices.“As the agency we launch Mabogo-Dinku with a high-level of confidence that it will provide greater social and economic impact to many Batswana who work very hard to create income for themselves and sustain the livelihood of their families,” said Thamane.

The product has been designed with unique features which include simplified application documentation, no detailed business plan required, no tangible security required and has shorter turnaround time. And it encourages savings culture.

Published in Business

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