The Evolution of Entrepreneurship and Small-to-Medium Business Development in Botswana

  • Jaloni Pansiri University of Botswana
  • Alexander Thabo Yalala University of Botswana


This paper discusses the evolution of entrepreneurship and small-to-medium enterprises development in Botswana. In doing so, the paper traces such developments from the establishment of the National Development Bank in 1963, to the crafting of the economic diversification drive strategy in 2010. To bring this discussion into perspective, the paper adopts the environmental munificence and carrying capacity conceptual framework for analysing entrepreneurship policies to argue that while entrepreneurship policies in Botswana were developed to counter a number of environmental challenges, the carrying capacity of Botswana with a population of about 2 million, accounts for the high rate of company mortality. The paper identifies a number of intervention policies, programmes, and strategies which include creating funding opportunities for entrepreneurs; enhancing training for entrepreneurs; research innovation and technical assistance; and creating market access. The paper then draws the similarities and differences between entrepreneurship development programmes in Botswana. The paper concludes by arguing that funding and general support of entrepreneurship in Botswana does not take into account the effects of industry size, maturity, and concentration leading to high rate of company failures. The paper therefore recommends that specific prioritised industries should be identified for support, and assessed taking into consideration their carrying capacities as a way of enhancing competition for government support.


Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Small-To-Medium Enterprises; Environmental Munificence; Carrying Capacity; Entrepreneurship Policy.

Author Biography

Jaloni Pansiri, University of Botswana

Tourism and Hospitality Management

Senior Lecturer