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About Us

About IED

IED aims to position Botswana as a beacon for innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity in Africa by helping aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality. We support the development of business skills and knowledge as well as creating networking opportunities to catalyse the growth of the country’s startup community.

IED and Venture Creation Labs provide training, investment and mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs to diversify the economy through the launch of successful startups to create wealth and jobs. Our mission is to:

  • Improve the total entrepreneurial activity rate, particularly high-potential business creation.
  • Promote an enabling environment for establishment of businesses that create clear value and meet significant needs, have robust economic characteristics and can be scaled with sustainable impact.
  • Forge an entrepreneurship attitude and inculcate a spirit of entrepreneurship from the grassroots through kid and youth oriented programming.

IED’s Purpose

“Dream into Business—Transform Botswana” is the IED mantra and purpose. We recognize that Botswana’s economy is heavily dependent upon the diamond industry, which faces an uncertain future with resource depletion and a real threat posed by synthetic diamonds.

A surge of new business creation in many sectors will broaden and strengthen the economy and the livelihood of all Batswana. Committed to spearhead fast growth in startups, the IED has adopted three special focus areas, including Import Substitution, Women’s Economic Empowerment and Youth Employment Creation.

Import Substitution: Botswana’s annual import bill stands at a staggering P79 billion. The dominance of a single industry, in terms of activity and government funding, has provided something of a cushion, rather than engendering a hunger for innovation and creativity among Batswana.

Women’s Economic Empowerment: According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), a large number of women are engaged in income generation and microenterprises, but many have no alternative livelihood and are engaged in family survival strategies, with little prospect of being able to work their way out of poverty. In Botswana, many development programs like Poverty Eradication Program and Women Empowerment Grant promote economic activities, especially among disadvantaged groups. However, existing business training and other enterprise development services for women tend to be approached from a welfare point of view. Therefore, they often fail to provide female target groups with the practical business skills, knowledge and the ‘business-mind’ that is crucial for successful venture development.

Youth Employment Creation: Estimated unemployment is about 20%, with youth being the hardest hit. A recent study on youth entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa paints an alarming picture of a growing population of ambitious and entrepreneurial young people who have nowhere to go. The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, ‘Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs: Unlocking The Potential For A Brighter Future’, warns that Africa’s youth bulge poses an enormous threat to the region, unless more targeted support is provided to youth entrepreneurs, specifically in the age group 18-34.

IED’s Role

We believe that the challenges threatening the modest economic gains the country has made over the last 50 years will be addressed by raising the level of new business creation in Botswana. This will spark a new wave of national economic and social benefits—creating a more diversified economy, reducing the import bill, accelerating job creation, eradicating poverty, stemming rural to urban migration, reducing teenage pregnancy and youth delinquency, among many other social ills.

 Since the economic and social spinoffs are so vast, IED is working to take every opportunity to harness and encourage an entrepreneurial revolution across Botswana.

Our Approach

We have adopted a training with incubation business model with IED generally offering longer term academic training programs and Venture Creation Labs assuming a business incubation/ accelerator role. Creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem requires many initiatives to coalesce; we therefore provide support through key resources like skills development, mentoring and networking. In summary we facilitate the Ideation, Incubation and Acceleration process of business.  All this is delivered through our Lean Start Up and Business Model Canvas philosophy embedded in all our programming.



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Vision: To be a regional leader in creation and dissemination of knowledge for advancing entrepreneurship and innovation.

Mission: To inspire and nurture entrepreneurs and innovators through transformational education and targeted business interventions that connect entrepreneurs with resources, knowledge and tools to help them succeed in developing their ideas into businesses.


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Inspire: We stimulate entrepreneurship and creativity through our various teaching models, moulding the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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Innovate: We constantly find inventive and ingenious methods of re shaping Botswana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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Nurture: We provide tailor-made solutions through training and mentoring to support and grow with the entrepreneur from idea to launch.

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Self-Reliance: We promote economic independence through capacitating our clients to create viable startups.


Bonang Sealetsa
Managing Director
Tel: +267 313 2638

Bonang Sealetsa is an accomplished and seasoned Entrepreneurship Development Practitioner, Trainer, Mentor and Business Coach. He has been involved in coaching and mentoring businesses in Botswana for over 14 years. The seed of business and enterprise was long planted and nurtured by his own father from a young and tender age; himself an entrepreneur in his own right.

Bonang has proved his worth in mentoring the youth to start their own businesses, his past clients attest to this! He was involved in the establishment of the first business incubator in the country at RIPCO (B) at its Industrial Satellite Service Centre (ISSC) in Palapye. He was part of the two man team that successfully established ISSC and is credited with establishing the ISSC Mentoring Program, Marketing Plan as well as establishing a Selection Advisory Board for the Incubator. Furthermore he devised a selection criteria for the Incubator including exit strategy for graduating clients. ISSC impact was immediately felt by the community of Palapye but sadly the Incubator closed down following the Government’s resolve to merge RIPCO (B) and Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC) to establish Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI).

He then joined Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) at its Pilane Multi Sector Incubator where he continued to prove his mettle. In early 2013 he was part of a team that was tasked with successfully developing a turnaround strategy for the Incubator that included careful selection of clients into the Incubator. By the time he left LEA, Pilane Multi Sector Incubator had performed beyond expectation surpassing all set targets. Bonang has left a very strong legacy and footprint at both RIPCO (B) and LEA.

He has been a member of the District Economic Development Committees in Palapye, offering expert advice on issues of entrepreneurship development, in the District. Furthermore, Bonang has since 2009 been assisting the Palapye and  Gaborone Youth Offices by playing an advisory role and project appraisal for youth projects submitted for funding.

Bonang spent his formative years at Choppies Group as a Trainee Retail Manager for a total 6 years under the tutelege and mentorship of Mr. Ramachandran Ottopath, arguably one of the best businessmen in Botswana at the moment. Bonang holds a Bachelor of Accounting Degree from the University of Botswana and is currently pursuing his MBA studies.

Will Keyser
Project Mentor
Tel: 802-490-0461
Venture Founders LLC—How to Start a Business
Get a copy of Founders Are Storytellers: Be Convincing Wherever You Are

Will is a veteran entrepreneur and business startup counselor, a writer and blogger on entrepreneurship and until recently a Lecturer for Sustainable Business Strategies and New Venture Creation for MBA at Marlboro College, USA. He is Managing Director of Venture Founders LLC and creator of the famous Start up Owl website. Will is highly experienced consultant with over 20 years’ experience in the USA and Europe.

He has assisted many entrepreneurs successfully launch their business ventures. After a career in public relations and advertising he became a management consultant with a major French-based consulting firm, working in the socio-economic field–particularly in public enterprise and employment policy. He later established his own firm and ran it for 11 years before selling it to its 30 staff members for a nominal sum. The company specialized in employment and HR strategy, as well as management development and training. He worked with clients in banking, finance, the oil industry, power generation and distribution, electronics, engineering and food manufacturing.

His recent startup clients have included a green fashion retailing chain, an online fitness business, a group of green cemeteries, a low-tech communication company for the speech impaired, an energy metering ecosystem, a hemp processing plant, a clean power rewards company, a Kenyan business incubator, and many other enterprises. His website is a wealth of free material on sustainable startup strategies. Will has also been a UK government adviser in economic development, on the board of a regional venture capital company, a management association president, and a council member of an employers’ federation. He was on the board of a multi-million dollar food retailing coop and other nonprofit organizations.

He published eight books on public enterprise in Europe. His most recent title is the eBook, “Telling Startup Stories”. Will Keyser brings an international perspective having lived and worked in the UK, US and France. He attended the University of Westminster and the London College of Communication in UK, as well as the Universities of Besançon and Lille in France.

Analilia Silva
Curriculum Developer and Mentor

Analilia is a creative and innovative business professional with over 10 years of corporate experience in the US and Mexico, working in sales and marketing for global companies such as 3M, Johnson & Johnson and Nokia.

Her success in the corporate world and her zeal to make a direct impact on individuals, led her to start a career in academia at Indiana University – Kelley School of Business.  During her time at Kelley she developed the Global Strategy for the MBA Program and managed a portfolio of global experiences, including several consulting projects for SMEs and NGOs in developing countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Oceania.  She coached student teams on how to best deliver action recommendations to local entrepreneurs and helped them develop global leadership skills. Analilia was also responsible for all admissions recruiting activities in Latin America and she mentored MBA international students on career development, as well as on how to ease their adjustment to the US culture.

After 5 years working for the Kelley School of Business – Full-time MBA Program, Analilia returned to her home country, Mexico, and founded 20degrees Consulting with the purpose in mind to create an impact in communities, organizations and individuals through entrepreneurship and global leadership programs.  She has worked with NGOs, government and academic organizations in Latin America and Africa on action-based business acceleration experiences, entrepreneurship strategy consulting and entrepreneurship curriculum development. Through her leadership and her passion to empower entrepreneurs to transform their lives by creating businesses and accelerating their growth, her programmes have impacted over 10,000 micro and small businesses in urban and rural communities in these areas.

With the idea in mind to create a domino effect and reach more organizations that can impact thousands of entrepreneurs in Latin America that live under the poverty line, Analilia recently founded “ACELERA”, an NGO that seeks to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of these individuals and promote business growth opportunities through an entrepreneurship ecosystem that supports them with coaching, funding and a network of suppliers and potential buyers.

Analilia is also a lecturer on New Venture Creation at Universidad Panamerica (Mexico City), for both undergraduate and masters programmes. Analilia received an MBA from the Kelley School of Business, where she majored in Marketing, and Venture Creation, and a B.S. in Marketing from ITESM (Mexico).

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