Business Botswana (BB) has bemoaned the low uptake of its subscription membership by the business community. The country’s apex body for businesses says the organisation’s lobbying for growth and capacity building for the local enterprises is limited due to lack of sufficient cash flow, citing that the organisation’s activities are funded by membership subscriptions.

Speaking at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony with Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub (BDIH) to promote collaboration of research, innovation and digitalization by connecting the private sector with innovators, BB highlighted the need to increase its members. BB Chief Executive Officer, Norman Moleele implored enterprises, both large and small to join the apex business body. “The bulk of our members are small to medium enterprises, accounting for 80 percent of the 3000 members,” said Moleele, allaying fears that it’s a platform for the elite. “All businesses should be part of Business Botswana,” he added. Moleele said BB is the voice of business and does not negotiate in silos or for its members only when lobbying government, stating that membership is integral to their activities.

“We intend to enhance the private sector’s ambition to become engine of growth,” said Moleele, highlighting that BB lobbies for the business community on various platforms with government, including in the High Level Consultative Committee (HLCC), a national-level forum that meets twice a year for dialogue between the highest levels of government and private sector leadership, and Chaired by the President, Mokgweetsi Masisi. Meanwhile, Business Botswana continues to develop its e-commerce platform which has an e-directory, online stores and has recently embarked on putting up virtual profiles for over 100 women and youth owned businesses.