About SMME Support Network
The Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Support Network – Lesotho is legally registered non-profit association of Business Development Service (BDS) providers. Registered in Lesotho in 2002, the Network was established with technical and tinancial assistance from the German Government through the GTZ/SMME project, with the aim of facilitating an enabling environment for coordination, collaboration and effective interventions to MSMEs. The role of the GTZ/SMME project in the development of MSMEs was to enhance capacities of existing BDS providers to effectively trickle-down skills to the local MSMEs and the rural communities as a contribution to the national objectives of poverty reduction and economic growth, in particular.
The Network particularly, aims at strengthening capacities of the BDS providers to deliver coordinated and improved service to SMMEs in Lesotho in order to contribute effectively to the economy through increased job creation and productivity.
The SMME Support Network is the leading BDS institution in Lesotho, with membership of twenty (20)members who have been certified by International Finance Corporation (IFC) – Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) and other credible learning institutes.
The Network aims to defray imminent fragmentation in the provision of support services to the SMMEs by reducing duplication and overlaps, promoting collaboration and enhancement of coordinated delivery of services to the sector. To achieve this aim, the Network seeks to create an environment in which coordination and collaboration among various SMME development actors in the country is enhanced and the utilisation of scarce resources is improved.
Strategic Objectives Cover
- Capacity building of Business Development Service provider.
- Coordination of training and technical support to the SMMEs.
- Proactive research identifying bottlenecks and opportunities in the environment and strategies to create an enabling environment
- Advocacy locally and internationally.
- Lobbying for SMME development programmes.
- Impact assessments.
- Quality assurance and management of programmes and interventions to MSMEs.
- Management of Information Systems (MIS) on SMMEs and BDS providers.
The SMME Support Network – Lesotho has over 20 years in private sector development and BDS. In response to the Government ‘s call to develop its industry base; the organisation has, over the years tested a number of training programmes and has identifed some programmes that are suited for use on local enterprises and institutions. The Network has through its membership; offered and facilitated training and support programmes for MSMEs, Business Associations, smallholder farmers, rural women, youth, local communities, local economic practitioners, corporate clients and staff as well as civil servants responsible for community and MSME development.
As a member-based association of private Business Development Service providers we rely on the support of our members, sponsors and the general public.
The Network has up to now been successful in their efforts to address the MSME issues with the assistance of the Democratic Republic of Germany through the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ/SMME Project) in the years, 2000-2002. Through the project the service providers do recognise and appreciate the extent of their role in SMME development.
Kellogg Foundation has assisted the Network in “strengthening of the capacity of Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises in Lesotho to develop sustainable programs in the local and rural communities”. Through the assistance advanced training programs were adopted and adapted and “SMME News” Newsletter was published and distributed countrywide and internationally through diplomatic missions, best practices in SME development were benchmarked through seminars and conferences.
EU- Non State Actors
With the assistance of the EU-Non-State Actors project, the Network developed its first Business plan from its strategic plan for direction.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) through Fund for African Private Sector Assistance project ( 2018-2021) has extended assistance in the form of establishment of a Shared Service Facility where Business Associations and MSMEs can access services and technology . The main purpose for introducing shared services is to assist business associations to reduce overall costs; minimize duplication of services across their organizational units; improve effectiveness of internal services; determine ways to sustain service functions; strengthen participation and voice of members;
The project also focused on Expansion of the Business development Services (BDS) market where the intervention comprised:
- Strengthen capacity of BDS providers (through training and seminars) to provide complete package of services to start-up and existing entrepreneurs, i.e. full entrepreneurship, business management and expansion package to ensure sustainable enterprise development.
- Development and management of BDS market database accessible by SMMEs, financial service providers, policy makers and other stakeholders,
- Establishment of BDS certification leading to accreditation system/program to ensure quality service to SMMEs to accelerate growth and development of the sector;
- Development of Monitoring and Evaluation system for impact assessment
The methods of delivery and the fact that we did the work ourselves
The way the facilitators handled all issues that pertain to the course
Our facilitators were so open and friendly to us. I was happy to learn the business terminology
Make similar training countrywide so that an impact would be seen
Thank you very much for inviting me here because it was really fruitful to me and it helped me clear some of the things that I did not get back at school
This has been an excellent learning experience for me
It was conducted so well and according to my expectations. Content was excellent
I was impressed by method of delivery, using both official languages
The content was simplified to meet my knowledge level
I was most impressed by content, presentation style and energising style
I was impressed by method of delivery, using both official languages
What I liked most about the training was the content, energy of facilitators and group wo
The Network is a (limited) member-based organisation, with membership open to all:
- Institutions or corporate bodies desirous of furthering its aims and objectives of the Association;
- Legally registered consulting firms with relevant skills and expertise relevant to the aims and objectives of the Association; and
- Individuals/ professionals with skills required to further the aims of the organisation.
Each member shall be entitled to nominate up to 3 representatives, whose participation shall carry and entitle the member to one (1) vote.
Members will include
- Ordinary Members: These are founder members and these are institutions and corporate bodies
- Associate members: These are private consulting firms and individual consultants who will provide services to the Network.
- Honorary members: These are individuals who have served the Network and are expected to provide expertise and advice to the Network as and when the need arises.
- Others: These are interested institutions and corporate bodies who share similar vision with the Network.
Membership Fee Structure:
- Ordinary members: Registration fee of M500.00 (Five Hundred Maloti) for all. Annual Subscription of M5,000.00 (Five Thousand Maloti) for institutions or corporate bodies
- Associate members: