The PhD in Business Management was conferred on 25th April 2017 at a graduation ceremony at North West University (Mafikeng) South Africa.
After many years working as a management consultant, business consultant and independent financial adviser, I got saddened at the rate of financial struggles among both individual and enterprise. At the same time, I was impressed by a handful of small, medium, and micro entrepreneurs (SMMEs) that I nurtured into success. I was exhilarated to see those few firms solving the unemployment challenge in Botswana; accounting for gross domestic product (GDP) and providing income for the families of the firm owners and employees’ alike, thereby reducing poverty levels.
As soon as I joined academia a few years ago, I got thrilled to carry out a study of the challenges and opportunities facing SMMEs. However, I quickly realised through literature search that there were a few studies on SMEs in general in Botswana. Worse still, literature review revealed that micro enterprises in Botswana were not researched much about, yet they were the majority. Out of the few studies on SMMEs, most of those studies focused on tourism, retail, agriculture, health, and other sectors, apart from manufacturing sector. Almost all the studies ever done on SMMEs pointed to financing challenges being the worst enemy of SMMEs. This supported my own observations as an independent financial adviser and management consultant where I saw SMMEs struggling with access to finance. Seeing that there was little research on the manufacturing sector, which is one of the earmarked sectors for economic diversification by the government of Botswana; I decided to focus my research on manufacturing SMMEs. That research interest culminated into a PhD proposal in Business Management.
The past three years have been awesome. I have enriched my work as a lecturer for entrepreneurship and business leadership through literature search and lessons learnt from field studies. I sincerely believe that the findings of this study will be helpful to industrial policy makers, SMMEs, potential investors, commercial banks and other interested parties.