Beyond its glimmering gems, Botswana is on a remarkable journey of continued economic transformation. After gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1966, the nation faced difficult challenges, ranking as one of the world’s poorest countries where citizens primarily relied on cattle herding and farming for their livelihoods. Today, the country places emphasis on its diversified economy, with a range of industries contributing to its impressive achievement as one of Africa’s fastest-growing nations. In a strategic effort to reshape Botswana, the “Reset Agenda’’ aims to position the country as a competitive and attractive location for investors.1 Notably, Botswana’s business defaulting risk assessment stands competitively against countries in Eastern Europe as well as the United Kingdom.2
Cattle, copper, and diamonds were the resources that helped turn around Botswana’s economy. Since demonstrating its upward trajectory, Botswana has consistently recorded growth rates in GDP, which are now projected to increase to 4.2% in 2023. The nation has made further strides for development by focusing on new strategies to diversify its economy. Through entities such as the Government Procurement Office, the nation’s economy is developing through projects overseen by entities where transparency and efficiency in the procurement of services is ensured. The issuance of tender notices encourages competition in the procurement process for SMEs and drives Botswana’s economic growth. Equal opportunity promotes fairness, prevents corruption, and boosts entrepreneurship for Botswana.
As Botswana begins to pivot its focus toward the development of infrastructure and systems, AGC is helping contribute to the growth of the country’s small businesses through our financing partner. In February 2023, AGC’s Co-CEO Sudha Bharadia visited Botswana to learn how our financing is enabling businesses through their line of factoring options. Providing unique and creative financial solutions for growing businesses, AGC’s partner offers purchase order financing and invoice discounting to help grow SMEs in Botswana. With the belief system that ‘no one should remain small forever,’ their efficient access to funding has benefited one such enterprise — a small multimedia business that creates projects for Botswana Television (BTV), the nation’s first-ever broadcasting service.
“If it wasn’t for AGC’s partner, we could not have reached our own target,” shares Kebafilwe Kwelagobe director of One Shot Media. One Shot Media is a multimedia company focused on branding, advertising, tv, and film production. The company filmed a significant project for BTV titled ‘Pregnancy Coach;’ a twenty-four minute and twenty-six-episode series discussing fetal development, exercising, and health and nutrition. The series is a valuable tool that addresses the needs and challenges faced by women, especially those that are young and unmarried, to help navigate pregnancy in Botswana. The TV program contributes to Botswana’s local health initiatives to inform, advise, and educate women about their pregnancies and provide them with resources for assistance or cope with concerns and safety during pregnancy.3 Due to the project’s size and scope, funding was necessary to support the various roles involved in its production.
According to UNESCO’s insights on the African Film Industry, the sector is estimated to employ 5 million people with 30% or more women holding occupations within the sector in Southern Africa. Additionally, the industry accounts for $5 billion of the GDP in Africa.4 In many regions of the continent however, the film and audio-visual sectors have yet to fully harness their economic potential.5 The film industry in Botswana continues to face challenges with limited funding and inadequate resources, hindering its growth and potential. In the absence of financing, distribution, and monetization for film, SMEs survive by producing smaller projects in response to requests for proposals from BTV.
AGC’s position in the market provides a reliable avenue for our partner to not only grow businesses like One Shot Media, but also to fund an industry with many financial constraints reliant on few resources. Funding supported One Shot Media’s monumental break-out project by enabling them to assemble a diverse team of employees across a variety of specialties. “By AGC’s partner funding this project, it opened doors for many, (…) especially our makeup artists, our presenters, our camera [operators,] and our editors (…) those that have been employed throughout the project,” shares Kebafilwe.
The quick access to working capital through AGC’s partner not only enabled One Shot Media to successfully bring their film project to life, but also generated employment opportunities within Botswana’s creative sector. AGC’s position in the market helps deliver funding to the untapped potential of small businesses with promising prospects of growth. In the case of Botswana, AGC’s funding is playing an active role in aligning with the country’s vision to become a productive and resilient nation.