Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) and Letshego Botswana recently partnered through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to provide financial support to Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) and drive Citizen Economic Empowerment. The agreement enables Morupule Coal Mine’s contract suppliers the unique opportunity to access affordable funding through the commitment of a P2.2 Billion facility by Letshego Botswana over a period of 5 years. In consideration of the current economic climate, where Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) have been hardest hit, Letshego Botswana and Morupule Coal Mine commit to hiving off contracts, empowering and providing ongoing financial support to these entrepreneurs, giving the potential for scaling up of their operations. Morupule Coal Mine Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Edwin Elias said, “As we take on the global realm of the energy sector as a sustainably profitable business, delivering value to our stakeholders is at the heart of why we exist and what we do. Beyond our employee value propositions, we have been intentional in setting up our Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme that speaks to our citizen-owned business partners.” Elias continued on to spotlight collaborations and partnerships for sustainable economic activity in our Vision 2036 objectives by highlighting that; “We see ourselves growing together with partners such as Letshego Botswana, as we share the values and collective promise of Achieving Prosperity for All Batswana as espoused in Vision 2036”. The financial challenges facing Micro and Small Entrepreneurs are further heightened by the low appetite in the market to fund businesses that are still in their infancy and have a limited ability to match up to the set requirements to access credit. Typically most MSEs grapple with weak cash flow positions and a lack of collateral security. Given these challenges, Letshego Botswana and Morupule Coal Mine have committed to working together to co-creating solutions to enable better access to credit for Batswana Entrepreneurs that wish to participate in the Citizen Economic Empowerment initiative. Letshego Botswana’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Letso Gaborekwe said, “It is always great news when a small business secures a lucrative order, however, most Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) do not have adequate liquidity to fulfil large orders, especially when there are multiple orders on the table. Almost every month, high working capital requirements are an inherent issue that haunts most small business owners. Despite this, Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) are truly a credible engine of entrepreneurial growth, employment creation and economic development and at Letshego, we pride ourselves in being their ideal financial services partner to help drive that growth.” According to the World Bank, SMEs make up 35% of the GDP and contribute 75% to formal sector employment and are significant contributors to national economic development in Botswana. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Morupule Coal Mine and Letshego Botswana underpins the commitment of the partners to unlock the potential for Batswana Micro and Small Entrepreneurs to gain access to capital required for participating in and successfully completing projects competitively within agreed timelines. By financially supporting Micro and Small Entrepreneurs, the strategic partners are helping to contribute to sustainable livelihoods through Citizen Economic Empowerment. Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE) remains core to key national agendas of job creation, citizen economic inclusion as well as economic diversification. It remains core to the much-needed change of economic transformation that needs to be driven by Batswana for Batswana in Botswana.